Aetna announced today that it’s withdrawing from the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) marketplace. Here is the company’s announcement:
Aetna has long been committed to providing access to affordable, high-quality health care for all Americans. That is why, when the Affordable Care Act was passed, we invested significantly and participated actively in the public exchanges. When these exchanges struggled to deliver on their promise to consumers, we stuck with them – helping policymakers identify meaningful, measurable reforms to increase access for people across the nation.
Unfortunately, our participation in several public exchanges simply became unsustainable.
The fact is, since Aetna first started participating in public exchanges in 2014, we have absorbed more than $500 million in pre-tax losses on our individual Commercial products. In the face of such volatility and uncertainty, we made the difficult decision to withdraw from public exchanges in 11 states for 2017.
Aetna is hardly alone.
As a matter of record, more than 25 companies left or announced their intent to exit public exchanges in 2016, and the marketplace continues to deteriorate.
In the wake of the District Court ruling to block our proposed merger with Humana, many in the media have focused on our withdrawals from these public exchanges in 2017. Much of this coverage does not tell the full story about our participation in the Affordable Care Act.
The media focus on select emails, taken out of context, obscures the severe and unsustainable current and projected future losses that drove our decision to withdraw from these public exchanges.
We are considering our options for responding to the court ruling. Regardless of the eventual outcome, we will continue to work together with the new Congress and administration to develop long-term solutions that give Americans more choice and control over their health care.