Anthem Exits Obamacare Exchanges in Nevada and Parts of Georgia

Health insurer cites volatility in individual market and trouble pricing Obamacare plans

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August 8, 2017

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has announced its exit from Obamacare exchanges in Nevada and roughly half of the counties in Georgia.

"Today, planning and pricing for ACA-compliant health plans has become increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance, including cost sharing reduction subsidies and the restoration of taxes on fully insured coverage," the company said.

Anthem will only offer one catastrophic medical plan off the exchanges in Nevada next year.

"Our commitment to members has always been to provide greater access to affordable, quality health care, and we will continue to advocate solutions that will stabilize the market and allow us to return to a more robust presence in Nevada in the future," the company stated.

Less than two months ago, the health insurer announced it was exiting the Obamacare exchanges in three other states—Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana. Anthem cited similar reasons for exiting these states such as trouble pricing Obamacare plans and a volatile individual market.

According to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, due to insurers dropping out of the exchanges, 19 counties in the United States are projected to have no insurer next year.

"Currently for 2018, at least 13,008 Americans currently enrolled for health coverage on the exchanges live in the counties projected to be without coverage in 2018," the agency said. It also projects that 40 percent of counties (1,352) will only have one health insurer on the exchanges next year, with the result that there would be 2.3 million individuals who only have one choice for health care coverage.

"In addition to overall issuer participation, increasing rates have also been a concern for the health insurer exchanges," the agency said. "A number of insurers in several states requested rate increases of 30 percent or more. Also, consumers in the 39 states have already seen their premiums increase more than 100 percent since 2013."