Anthem has pulled out of Obamacare in Ohio. One of the largest insurers in the country, Anthem is disappointed with low enrolment levels and intimidated by the White House. The company will now leave about 20 counties with no insurers under the Obamacare insurance. It is important to note that Anthem is the only insurer to 88 Ohio counties selling health insurance exchange products. Meanwhile, reports suggest that insurers have paid 50 to 60 percent higher premiums for 2018 as compared to previous years.
Why Did Anthem Leave?
The company has several factors to blame for its decision. It said that the individual markets have remained volatile because of which there is a very low level of predictability. The company also said that the individual market is shrinking and blamed Cost Sharing Reduction payments for the withdrawal of plans. Delayed taxes on high end insurance have caused much headache for the company recently.
It is to be noted that Anthem has not pulled out of any other states yet. Additionally, there could be many customers left without coverage as Anthem is the sold insurer in many counties. The 2018 enrollment period could thus prove problematic for many customers. The company also feels threatened because of Trump administration which aims to cut back on low-cost insurance services.
Democrat vs. Republican Debate
Anthem is not the first insurer to pull out of a market citing similar issues. Many other insurers have done this recently to pull out of various Obamacare exchanges. While the Republicans have justified this move, calling it a failure of the Obamacare, Democrats believe otherwise. They have blamed the White House for intentionally sabotaging the Obamacare program.
Republican senator from Ohio Rob Portman said that health care status quo is not sustainable and that Obamacare has ‘failed to meet promises’. On the other hand, Democratic Ohio senator Sherrod Brown was not pleased with the move. He said, “The dangerous game President Trump & GOP are playing just kicked 70k paying OH customers off their insurance.”
Note that President Trump had pledged to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare. He has called out the faults of this program on several occasions. The lawmakers are now planning to make healthcare ‘different’ by working on a new bill before the 4th of July. Senator John Kennedy said earlier that they have not reached a consensus of the new bill yet. He said, “The areas we have consensus on? Let’s see, Obamacare sucks.”