Humana leaving some state health-insurance exchanges to cut its Obamacare losses

Humana Inc. said last week that it may leave some state health-insurance exchanges to cut its losses, and then left two, in Alabama and Virginia. “Humana also continues to reel after losing a large Medicare Advantage employer account,” Bob Herman reports for Modern Healthcare. “Those factors and others forced the first-quarter profit at the Louisville, Ky.-based insurer to fall 46 percent to $234 million.”

Humana said it would probably raise exchange-policy premiums “heavily and ditch some on- and off-exchange policies in ‘certain statewide’ markets,” Herman reported. Later, Zachary Tracer of Bloomberg News reported that the company wouldn’t sell Affordable Care Act policies in Alabama and Virginia in 2017.

“Humana is a relatively small player in the ACA, with about 554,300
individual members from the exchanges as of March 31,” Tracer noted. “About 12.7 million
people picked ACA plans for this year in the government-run markets. The company offers Obamacare plans in 15 states,” including Kentucky.

“Humana did not hold an investor call because of its pending merger with Aetna,” Herman reported. “If Humana ditches some ACA marketplaces, it would be the second major investor-owned insurer to back away” from them, following United Healthcare. That company “said last month it was losing money and would largely exit the 34 states where it sells plans,” report Amrutha Penumudi and Caroline Humer of Reuters.

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