Aetna CEO: 'We need different pools' in ACA exchanges

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has his own ideas on how to improve the Affordable Care Act exchanges, according to Forbes.

"There are bigger structural changes that need to be made around product flexibility, rating flexibility [and] pooling," Mr. Bertolini said during a first quarter earnings call, according to the report.

"We need different pools, not one pool," he added. "Cross-subsidizing at the premium level across a large swath of the population doesn't work. It needs to be multiple pools with specific products for each pool."

Despite his proposed changes, Mr. Bertolini expressed satisfaction over the government's changes to the ACA framework, specifically those regarding special enrollment periods.

He also noted that remaining in the ACA exchanges has kept Aetna's costs "well, well below" the cost of buying out certain markets. "If we were to go out and buy those members, it would cost us somewhere around $1.2 billion to acquire them," Mr. Bertolini said, according to the report.

Although Aetna views its ACA involvement as "a good investment," Mr. Bertolini is hoping for change. "[W]e haven't been able to touch [the ACA exchanges] because of the politics. But if we get to that point, we are in a very good place to make this a sustainable program," Mr. Bertolini said, according to the report.

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