7 things to know about Aetna's ACA exchange exit

Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna will leave a majority of state exchanges next year, adding to a tumultuous year for Affordable Care Act exchanges nationwide.

Here are seven things to know about Aetna's exit.

1. The insurer warned the U. S. Department of Justice in a July 5 letter it would immediately take action to reduce its 2017 ACA exchange footprint if the DOJ sued to enjoin its acquisition of Louisville, Ky.-based Humana.

2. In the letter signed by Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, the insurer said if its transaction with Humana is blocked, it is "very likely" the insurer would exit the public exchange entirely. However, if the deal closes, Mr. Bertolini said Aetna will explore how it can support "more public exchange coverage over the next few years."

3. On July 21, the DOJ sued to block the $37 billion Aetna-Humana deal over antitrust concerns. The DOJ jointly challenged a merger between Indianapolis-based Anthem and Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna. Trial proceedings are set to begin Dec. 5 in the Aetna-Humana case with a planned mid-January ruling.

4. On Monday, Aetna said it will pull out of 11 of its 15 state ACA exchanges next year, citing $430 million in losses on its individual plans since January 2014.

5. Kevin Counihan, director and marketplace CEO, told Politico Aetna's departure placed a greater urgency on HHS' insurer recruitment. He also said losing insurers like Aetna does not mean the exchanges are broken, but rather it is "the nature of the industry."

6. Aetna reported revenue of $15.95 billion in the second quarter of 2016, up 5 percent from the same period of the year prior. The insurer recorded net income of $790.8 million, compared with net income of $731.8 million in the second quarter of 2015. Aetna recorded revenue of $60.3 billion in 2015, up 4 percent from revenue of $57.9 billion the year prior. The insurer ended 2015 with net income of $2.4 billion, up 17.1 percent from net income of $2 billion in 2014.

7. Aetna shares closed at $120.55 after the company's letter to the DOJ was disclosed Aug. 17, up from $118.93 the day prior. Humana shares closed at $179.68 Aug. 17, changing little from $179.63 the day prior.

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