Nebraska’s largest health insurance carrier will pull out of the federal health insurance exchange.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska CEO Steve Martin made the announcement Friday afternoon.
“Well, today we made the decision, that was very difficult, to exit the federal government’s public health insurance marketplace,” Martin says.
The decision will affect 20,000 Nebraskans who purchased health insurance through the Nebraska exchange created as part of the Affordable Care Act. Now, only Aetna and Medica Health will offer individual policies in the Nebraska exchange next year.
Blue Cross Nebraska insures 750,000 Nebraskans. The decision has no impact on those receiving insurance through their employer or those who plan to renew policies created prior to enactment of the federal health insurance law.
Open enrollment in the federal health insurance exchange begins November 1st.
UnitedHealth Group decided to drop out of the federal exchange earlier this year.
“The reason we came to this decision is we’ve lost over $140 million since we started selling our individual plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplace,” according to Martin. “When it was launched three years ago, those losses began and have not abated. The population we serve is utilizing more and more services and we have less people who can offset our losses.”
Martin says several factors add to the instability of the federal health insurance marketplace. He says the company hopes the marketplace will stabilize in 2018, allowing the company to reconsider its decision.
The federal health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act offer individual health insurance plans to individuals who do not qualify for group health insurance.
Click here for link with more information on decision.
AUDIO: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska CEO Steve Martin announces the company pulls out of health insurance exchange. [3 min.]