Humana says it will pull out of government health-insurance exchanges next year

Humana Inc. announced Feb. 14 that it would stop selling health insurance through the government marketplaces created by federal health reform. That made the Louisville-based company “the first major insurer to cast a no-confidence vote over selling individual plans on the public exchanges for 2018,” The New York Times noted.

The company said its early analysis of Obamacare enrollment for this year showed “further signs of an unbalanced risk pool,” meaning too many “customers with expensive medical conditions continued to enroll as compared with healthy people,” Reed Abelson explains for the Times.

The change will mean relatively little to Kentucky, since Humana was selling on the federal exchange in only nine counties (Bourbon, Bullitt, Clark, Fayette, Jefferson, Jessamine, Oldham, Scott and Woodford) and off the exchange in nine (Boone, Bullitt, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Jefferson, Kenton, Oldham and Pendleton).

“Humana is not a major player in the individual exchanges and is among the national insurers, like Aetna and UnitedHealth Group, that have struggled to make money in the market,” Abelson notes. Humana and Aetna abandoned their planned merger after a federal judge ruled it would violate antitrust laws.

On the Obamacare exchanges, “The company has steadily scaled back its presence, selling policies for 2017 in just 11 states,” Abelson notes. “The company’s main focus has been selling private insurance under Medicare,” under the brand Medicare Advantage.

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