Anthem CEO Says American Health Care Act Addresses ACA Challenges, Expands Choice

Company will 'surgically extract' itself from individual market without 'significant' reforms

Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish and others listen while Donald Trump speaks before a meeting with insurance executives (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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Anthem's CEO wrote to lawmakers that the American Health Care Act, the Republican replacement to Obamacare, will address current challenges and expand choice for consumers.

Joseph Swedish, Anthem's president, said unless significant changes are made to the individual health care marketplace, Anthem will leave it in 2018. Swedish noted his company, which serves more than one million members in 14 states, has had difficulty remaining on the Obamacare exchanges.

"While we have performed better than many of our competitors, it is increasingly difficult to remain in the exchange market under its current structure," Swedish said. "As I have said publicly, without significant regulatory and statutory changes to the individual market, we will begin to ‘surgically extract' Anthem from that market beginning in 2018."

"The American Health Care Act addresses the challenges immediately facing the individual market and will ensure more affordable health plan choices for consumers in the short term, including through the expanded use of health savings accounts," he said.

Swedish singled out four "critically important" provisions of the Republican replacement. Those provisions are the repeal of Obamacare's health insurance tax, the use of tax credits for off-exchange health plans, the establishment of the patient and state stability fund, and the continuation of cost-sharing reduction subsidies. He said the market would deteriorate without these and other reforms.

Swedish also stated his support for a continuation of Medicaid benefits, especially for the elderly, children, families, and individuals with disabilities.

"We are confident that working together we can find both legislative and regulatory solutions to create a sustainable path forward for our entire health care system for all Americans," Swedish said.

Swedish said the company in July 2016 projected losses on Obamacare plans due to higher costs.

Ali Meyer

Ali Meyer   Email Ali | Full Bio | RSS
Ali Meyer is a staff writer with the Washington Free Beacon covering economic issues that expose government waste, fraud, and abuse. Prior to the Free Beacon, she was a multimedia reporter with CNSNews.com where her work appeared on outlets such as Drudge Report and Fox News. She also interned with the Heritage Foundation and Pacific Research Institute. Her Twitter handle is @DJAliMeyer, and her email address is meyer@freebeacon.com.

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