On Monday, Aetna announced that it would withdraw from 11 of the 15 state exchanges it currently participates in. Aetna claims it withdrawing due to higher than anticipated claims and mounting losses. They also voiced concerns about ‘structural problems’ with the exchanges.
Why is Aetna leaving the exchanges ?
It is odd that the timing of Aetna’s announcement comes just days after the Justice Department sued to block Aetna’s merger deal with Humana Inc.
Critics, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, have suggested that Aetna’s position was influenced by the Justice Department’s decision to challenge their merger.
Ms. Warren wrote on Facebook, “The health of the American people should not be used as bargaining chips to force the government to bend to one giant company's will.”
Republican politicians were quick to try to use Aetna’s announcement as an example of how flawed Obamacare is.
It should be remembered that Anthem Inc. is still working at combining with Cigna Corp. And they too are facing a Justice Department suit over their merger.
Anthem has not indicated any plans withdraw from the exchanges.
In Anthem’s case, they have indicated that should the merger go through the combined company would likely expand into nine new exchange states.