On Tuesday the health insurance company Humana announced it would be the first major health insurer to quit the ObamaCare exchanges, asserting it would be through by 2018.
The Hill reported that the company admitted it was losing money because the number of people who were ill outweighed the number of healthy people. After the Department Of Justice sued to block its proposed deal with Aetna last summer, Humana cut back its presence in 19 states to 11, and a huge reduction from 1,351 counties to 156 counties. It had also raised its premiums, to no avail. The company stated:
All of these actions were taken with the expectation that the company’s Individual Commercial business would stabilize to the point where the company could continue to participate in the program. However, based on its initial analysis of data associated with the company’s healthcare exchange membership following the 2017 open enrollment period, Humana is seeing further signs of an unbalanced risk pool. Therefore, the company has decided that it cannot continue to offer this coverage for 2018. Through the remainder of 2017, Humana remains committed to serving its current members across 11 states where it offers Individual Commercial products. And, as it has done in the past, Humana will work closely with its state partners as it navigates this process.
CNBC reported that Humana CEO Bruce Broussard told analysts, “Based on our initial analysis of data associated with the company’s health-care exchange membership following the 2017 open enrollment period, we continue to see further signs of an unbalanced risk pool. Therefore, the company has decided that it cannot continue to offer this coverage for 2018.”
Humana is reportedly skeptical that Republicans will “repeal and replace” ObamaCare in the near future. Humana is the only exchange insurer available in Tennessee, and one of two in numerous counties in Mississippi and Georgia.