Aetna has dropped plans to offer health policies through the insurance exchanges in Ohio and its home state of Connecticut, the company revealed last week.
The Buckeye and Nutmeg state exchanges are the latest to join a growing list of local markets in which the carrier has reversed course and decided not to participate. Since June, it has also backed off plans to sell coverage via the exchanges in six other states, including California, Georgia, Maryland, New York, Tennessee and Texas.
In the case of Connecticut, at least, the decision was made "reluctantly," according to a letter to the state's Insurance Department signed by Bruce Campbell, Aetna's senior actuary. "Please be assured this is not a step taken lightly, and was made as part of national review of our Exchange strategy," Campbell wrote.
As in some other states, Aetna abandoned its plans after Connecticut regulators questioned the rates it proposed to offer through the state’s exchange, known as Access Health CT or AHCT. Three insurers will still offer individual coverage through AHCT, including Anthem, ConnectiCare and the nonprofit HealthyCT.
"The good news today is that consumers and businesses will retain several, high quality choices, and today's decision also shows we at AHCT are doing our best to hold rates down," Kevin Counihan, the chief executive of AHCT, said in a statement. "Our goal is clear: we want to bring affordable, quality health care to Connecticut's residents and small businesses."
The story is similar in Maryland, where the insurer said the state’s requirements for rate reductions would force it to operate at a loss. “Unfortunately, we believe the modifications to the rates filed by Aetna and Coventry would not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans,” Aetna said in a letter to insurance commissioner Therese Goldsmith. Eight other carriers will continue to offer individual policies through Maryland’s web-based insurance market.
In Ohio, Aetna said it’s withdrawing from the individual exchange market for 2014, but plans to continue offering its individual products from its Coventry subsidiary on the exchange. The carrier also said it will continue to provide its individual product in Ohio’s off-exchange market.
Aetna’s decision will leave 12 companies offering 200 individual health insurance plans on the Ohio exchange.
This story first appeared at Health Insurance Exchange.
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