Aetna CEO: Everyone's Premiums Will Increase Next Year Unless Obamacare Is Fixed

Says Obamacare is not affordable, even for people making six figures

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini / Screenshot from YouTube
November 11, 2016

Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said that everyone's premiums will increase next year unless Obamacare is fixed.

Bertolini was asked what would happen to health care premiums in 2017 at the DealBook Conference in New York City.

"If you're on the exchange, 25 percent looks like a pretty good number this year," he said. "It's going to be bigger next year unless we fix [Obamacare]."

Bertolini went on to criticize Obamacare, calling for a health care product that is more affordable and personalized.

"Eighty-one percent of the American public hate their health insurance, they hate the health-care system," the CEO said. "We have too many uninsured, it's not affordable even for people making six figures."

"So it still has to be fixed, we still need to insure everybody," he said. "We still need to have a product that’s affordable, more personalized, simpler to use, that people can buy like they buy everything else today."

President-elect Donald Trump has called for a full repeal of Obamacare, which Bertolini said would likely occur.

Bertolini also said that a replacement plan would be constrained by commitments made under Obamacare.

"We have people signed up so we have to honor that commitment through 2017. We'll have to act quickly to get something in place for [20]18," Bertolini said.

The CEO said that a replacement should guarantee insurance for people regardless of their health condition, allow young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance until age 26, and expand Medicaid—all provisions included in Obamacare.

Bertolini said these things are possible based on statements Trump has made on the campaign trail.

"I don’t think you can take 17 million people—or however many people we think it's 17 to 20 million people—you can't put them out on the street without insurance," he said.

Aetna announced in August that it would drop Obamacare coverage in 70 percent of the counties it currently operates in.

Published under: Obamacare