Humana won't return to ACA exchanges even if they become 'very viable'

Bruce Broussard, CEO of Louisville, Ky.-based Humana, said the insurer will not reenter health insurance exchanges created under the ACA even if the individual market changes for the better under Republicans' proposed healthcare bill, WDRB reports.

Mr. Broussard affirmed the insurer's intention to exit the exchanges effective Jan. 1, 2018, at the Barclays Global Healthcare Conference in Miami Thursday. He told investors attending the conference that as Humana contemplates "the future — you won't see us go in the exchanges … We have planned that exit and even if [lawmakers] were to change [the exchanges] to be very viable, we wouldn't be back in," WDRB reports.

Humana is the first major health insurer to announce plans to exit the 2018 ACA exchanges. The insurer covers about 150,000 individuals through plans sold through the exchanges in 11 states, making it one of the smaller players in the business, according to a Forbes report. The insurer expects to lose roughly $45 million on the exchanges this year.  

Mr. Broussard said Humana is shifting focus away from the exchanges and toward its Medicare Advantage business. He said "anything that will drive Medicare Advantage growth in the future is what we are, and that brand will continue to be reinforced as being a senior-based brand." 

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