If you are a senior looking to enroll in Medicare for 2017, you may have heard that Aetna will be withdrawing from the federal health insurance marketplace in Pennsylvania in 2017. The reason for this is unexpectedly high claims which have resulted in massive losses of more than $430 million. This loss has come since the plans launched in January of 2014.
Here is a the information according to the Post-Gazette and Mark Bertolini, Chairman and CEO of Aetna:
Because of those losses, “We have decided to reduce our individual public exchange presence in 2017,” said Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement.
Aetna, headquartered in Hartford, Conn., will continue to participate in the Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia marketplaces next year while leaving 11 other states including Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Insurance Department Commissioner Teresa Miller said in a statement Tuesday that she was disappointed by Aetna’s decision, while acknowledging the insurer’s financial difficulties, but added that “all Pennsylvanians continue to have choices” among other insurers’ plans.
She said Aetna serves about 31,000 Pennsylvanians, representing about 6 percent of the state’s individual health insurance market.
Teresa Miller, Insurance Commissioner of PA had this to say:
It is unfortunate that decisions made by the federal government are negatively impacting Pennsylvania’s marketplace,” Commissioner Miller said, “but all of Pennsylvania’s marketplace consumers continue to have options and therefore will have access to the federal subsidies only available through the marketplace.
If you are a senior citizen in Pennsylvania that has had an Aetna Medicare coverage plan, you may be asking “what do I do now?”
There is no easy answer to this question, as it can be complicated to explain all of the details as it will greatly depend on your current health and financial situation. The best thing you can do at this time is to consult with a Medicare insurance broker agent to discuss alternatives.
Teresa Miller had more to say on this issue at a recent public hearing:
“The cost of health insurance and the impact these costs have on consumers is something my department takes very seriously when reviewing requests for rate increases,” said Commissioner Miller. “However, cost is not the only measure of impact on consumers. As Insurance Commissioner, I am also charged with ensuring this market is sustainable and that Pennsylvania’s consumers continue to have choices when they seek health insurance coverage.”
Miller said many health insurance companies have absorbed higher spending on healthcare in recent years, more than originally anticipated, and are looking to offset losses that might otherwise convince them to leave Pennsylvania markets.
“We’ve come a long way in a very short time, but the law is not perfect,” said Paula Sunshine, senior vice president and chief marketing executive of Independence Blue Cross, in reference to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “We’re trying to balance both access and uncertainty. There are consequences to carriers not getting payments they expect.”
How does this affect my current plan? Should I enroll in new coverage?
This is a good question and many seniors are wondering the very same thing.
Seniors that are looking to replace a lost Medicare Advantage plan in PA should speak with a local insurance agent to ensure that they can continue their coverage without interruption. This can be a stressful or uneasy time but if you know what to do, things will work out.
You can learn more about Pennsylvania Medicare Advantage plans by visiting our resource which covers this information.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with an insurance broker in your area, we recommend the agent below.
Your Recommended Agent is Greg from BGA Insurance Group
Greg Gudis – Licensed agent ready to assist you during the enrollment period in October 2016. Please fill out the form below to send your information to Greg so that he can contact you with the best advice and plan information for your current situation. He can also provide expert advice on retirement planning, life insurance, and long-term care.