Sunday, June 11, 2017

Trump just took health insurance away from about 13,000 Ohioans (joan Mccarter) · Tuesday, June 06, 2017, 6:53 pm

Anthem Inc. has announced it is leaving the Obamacare marketplace for 2018, the first of potentially several withdrawals in different states. Anthem is the only health insurance provider on the marketplace in 20 counties in Ohio. Why is it leaving? In a word: Trump.

In announcing the decision, Anthem said that setting prices and making decisions about ACA plans has become “increasingly difficult due to the shrinking individual market as well as continual changes in federal operations, rules and guidance.” The insurer said the market remains “volatile,” and it cited the uncertainty surrounding key issues including federal payments that help reduce costs for low-income ACA enrollees.

The insurer said an “increasing lack of overall predictability simply does not provide a sustainable path forward to provide affordable plan choices for consumers.”

Anthem is in 13 states and has filed its proposed offerings for 2018 in Virginia, Maine, and Connecticut. That leaves a bunch of states where it's operating watching with trepidation. For example Colorado, where it is the only Obamacare insurer in 14 of the state's counties. Or Missouri, where they still haven't decided if they'll stay on. Missouri has already lost Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, which covered about 67,000 people in the state.

There are about 13,000 people signed up in the Ohio counties Anthem is leaving, according to Kaiser Family Foundation's Cynthia Cox, accounting for about 6 percent of all enrollees in the state. But there are at least 275,000 people nationally for whom Anthem is the only option. Given the uncertainty Trump has created with his sabotage, it's not likely other insurers will step up to fill the voids left by bailing insurers.

This is all part of his plan to force Democrats to come to the table to, inexplicably, help him pass a bill that would leave millions more uninsured. But if the insurance companies are blaming Trump for this, their customers will, too. And Democrats sure as hell aren’t going to get in the way of that.


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