Big insurers ditch Obamacare exchanges
September 10th, 2013
06:52 AM ET
11 months ago

Big insurers ditch Obamacare exchanges

New York (CNNMoney) - When Americans start shopping on the state-based exchanges next month, a couple of big insurers will likely be MIA.

Several of the larger players, including Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Cigna, are treading cautiously into Obamacare, waiting to see how the start of the massive health care reform pans out in 2014.

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    It would be hard for Aetna, Cigna, and United Health Care, to follow any rules. At least in the red states they can continue their questionable practices.

    September 10, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The train wreck continues to worsen.

    September 10, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    No doubt that detractors of health care reform will seize upon this as proof positive that the program is total failure. However, I think the behavior of the some of these big insurers needs to be closely watched for price fixing because I have zero confidence in their ability to deal fairly with the public.

    They warned/threatened/promised higher premiums if ACA were to pass, and most of them did just that almost immediately. Some raised premiums by as much as 40% or more.

    September 10, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    No doubt that detractors of health care reform will seize upon this as proof positive that the program is total failure.
    ---------
    Well, it IS odd that health insurers are choosing not to play if the ACA is such the cash cow for them that the left has made it out to be, don't you think?

    September 10, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    Make all these insurance thugs as government-run ones. No foreigner hiring either.

    September 10, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  6. Data Driven

    What an absurd business, literally. Some of these "big boys" may very well be right; providing service may cost them money. Seems like a ludicrous business model.

    Perhaps this is one of the reasons why health coverage shouldn't be a for-profit concern, hm, yes, yes?

    September 10, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair asked:

    Well, it IS odd that health insurers are choosing not to play if the ACA is such the cash cow for them that the left has made it out to be, don't you think?
    -------------------
    I already answered your quesition. The insurers are tyring to figure out how they can charge higher rates. If they jump in now, it will be a buyers market initially. The big insurers don't want to jump in and compete with the lower rates being offered to attract clients. They'd rather sit back and wiat for the initial gold rush to pass, and them enter with higher premiums.

    September 10, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. OKIE

    Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    No doubt that detractors of health care reform will seize upon this as proof positive that the program is total failure.
    ---
    Well, it IS odd that health insurers are choosing not to play if the ACA is such the cash cow for them that the left has made it out to be, don't you think?

    -------------------------------------------------

    Why does this need to be a cash cow? How about holding these profiteers accountable. I mean seriously, a hospital er charges for an entire box of latex gloves per patient, even though they only use one, maybe 2 pairs. Then if you have insurans, the company pays it out. All I want is to not get wallet gouged for trying to be healthy, or get care. I have employer provided insurance, and it's decent coverage, but i would like to have other options at competive rates. Before the ACA was passed there was none. Unfortunately, my governor has chosen not to participate, and has left all oklahomans at the mercy of big business. Sorry but this is why i lean left, you say the right dosen't like big government, but they sure are "morally" superior to those they don't agree w/.

    September 10, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair asked:

    Well, it IS odd that health insurers are choosing not to play if the ACA is such the cash cow for them that the left has made it out to be, don't you think?
    -------
    I already answered your quesition. The insurers are tyring to figure out how they can charge higher rates. If they jump in now, it will be a buyers market initially. The big insurers don't want to jump in and compete with the lower rates being offered to attract clients. They'd rather sit back and wiat for the initial gold rush to pass, and them enter with higher premiums.
    ---------
    You make no sense. For the most part, the premiums for the platinum, gold, silver, and bronze plans have already been established by geographic area by HHS and CMS. To say otherwise is misleading at best.

    September 10, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel

    The train wreck continues to worsen.
    ****************
    And the previous system was such a good one? How is it that anyone can say the previous system did a great job when people were regularly looking at double-digt increases in theirpremiums, and were lucky if the level of coverage remained the same? How was that such a good system, or does being a conservative mean you exchange skepticism of concentration of power in one segment of society and totally overlook concentration of power by another, namely the business community? Apparently worshipping at the alter of Mammon and pocketing the 30 pieces of silver to look the other way so a few people can continue to make obscene profits is morally acceptable.

    September 10, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    You make no sense. For the most part, the premiums for the platinum, gold, silver, and bronze plans have already been established by geographic area by HHS and CMS. To say otherwise is misleading at best.
    ---------------
    I make no sense? You love to ignore the facts. Not every state is participating in Obamacare, and it is in those states where the "free market" will drive the prices. Or have you totally forgotten about the states that are not participating.

    September 10, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    @ OKIE –

    "Why does this need to be a cash cow? "
    -------–
    It doesn't! My point was that since the ACA was passed, the left has labelled it as such. I don't know what you do for a living, OKIE, but let me ask you a question. Assume you were a business owner, and a block of new customers asked you to provide a product or service at a price you either broke even on or incurred a loss. Would you do it?

    September 10, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    "I make no sense? You love to ignore the facts. Not every state is participating in Obamacare, and it is in those states where the "free market" will drive the prices. Or have you totally forgotten about the states that are not participating."
    --------
    How does this comment fit together with THIS one you made – "The insurers are tyring to figure out how they can charge higher rates. If they jump in now, it will be a buyers market initially. The big insurers don't want to jump in and compete with the lower rates being offered to attract clients. They'd rather sit back and wiat for the initial gold rush to pass, and them enter with higher premiums."

    The subject of your initial comment was ACA exchanges. In fact, the whole topic of this thread is ACA exchanges. Why are you bringing up non-participating states in your rebuttal? Yes, you make no sense – whatsoever.

    September 10, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. sonny chapman

    The Insurance INDUSTRY works well in the American Free Market System in the areas of Casualty & Life Insurance. It's a complete disaster, for consumers, in the Health Care area. Too many variables & unknowns. Let's get them out of that area;MEDICARE FOR ALL.

    September 10, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Tom

    Actually I think this is good news. The big insurance carriers will shun the exchanges, presumably hoping the ACA will be repealed. Other companies will fill the void. Those companies will gain marketshare and become stronger challengers to the big insurance companies. Then the insurance providers who refused to participate in exchanges will suddenly decide they need to participate to regain lost marketshare. To attract new customers, they'll have to undercut the prices of the established exchange players, which will drive consumer costs down. This is just another example of big business short-sightedness refusing to enter an emerging marketplace because their profit is not guaranteed.

    September 10, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |