Aetna Quitting Health Insurance Exchanges In 11 States

Image courtesy of Michael Kappel

The basic principle behind the Affordable Care Act was that by requiring all Americans to have health insurance, people would pay for insurance even when they weren’t sick, making the risk pool bigger and letting insurers cover more services and people who are already sick. Insurance companies say that it isn’t working out that way, though. Insurance giant Aetna announced that it will leave individual insurance exchanges in 11 out of the 15 states where it does business.

Along with other health insurance companies, Aetna started selling policies to individuals who don’t have access to health insurance through their jobs at the beginning of 2014. That three-year experiment is now over for Aetna: even though record numbers of American adults now have insurance, patients on the state exchanges are too sick and expensive for Aetna’s liking.

“Providing affordable, high-quality health care options to consumers is not possible without a balanced risk pool,” the company’s CEO said in a statement. Translation: more people need to sign up for insurance who won’t actually use it.

Aetna does still sell individual policies in some states, but taking them off the health care exchanges means that individuals won’t be eligible for government subsidies to buy insurance according to their income.

Aetna to pull out of most Obamacare exchanges [CNN Money]

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