Aetna warned it would cut Obamacare if Humana deal was blocked

Aetna spokesman TJ Crawford said the letter was a response to the department's written request for information.

This matters a lot for the health care law because Aetna was a pretty significant player in the marketplaces, covering roughly 900,000 people as of this spring.

Aetna said the pullback was a business decision stemming from a loss in the second quarter on individual plans and uncertainty about the policy outlook for the exchanges. (Check to see whether they are in network in either plan in November.) What prescriptions or procedures do you expect in the next year, and how are those covered in each plan?

Aetna Inc. will stop selling federally subsidized health-insurance policies in Kentucky and 10 other states, remaining only in Virginia, Delaware, Iowa and Nebraska, the company announced this week.

The announcement follows UnitedHealthcare's departure from the IL exchange. Cox said the total may be closer to one in four now. While 20 million Americans did receive insurance under the ACA, many young, healthy people likely thought they didn't need insurance and took a penalty hit come tax season. That was before Humana and Aetna detailed their plans.

According to Mother Jones magazine, the health insurer pulled out of the marketplace as a retaliatory move against the Obama administration - which refused to approve the healthcare giant's proposed merger with another insurance company, Humana. "The letter certainly does provide some insight into how Aetna went surprisingly quickly from optimistic about the future of the ACA to reconsidering its options to pulling out from most markets". But insurers say this relatively small slice of business has generated huge losses since they started paying claims in 2014.

The nation's largest insurer, UnitedHealth Group, sold coverage in 34 states this year. Pinal County in Arizona is, as of now, the only county in the country expected to have no insurers offer plans next year.

In Aetna's case, the company claimed that it was inundated by higher-than-anticipated costs, particularly due to expensive specialty drugs.

Aetna is not the first major insurer to pull out of healthcare exchanges because they're not bringing enough profit. In the past few years, more than a dozen nonprofit insurance co-ops have shut down. But fundamentally, she doesn't think "the marketplaces are crashing and burning by any means", she said.

Officially, Aetna's decision was motivated by the fact that participating in the state exchanges was losing the insurer money.

Another big concern with Aetna's exit is choice for patients.

Aetna's threatening letter was authored by Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, who would have "personally [made] up to $131 million" if the Humana merger had gone through, as International Business Times reporter David Sirota observed last month.

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