IU Health Plans quits Obamacare exchange, citing ‘heightened financial uncertainty’

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Indiana University Health Plans is pulling out of the Obamacare marketplace in Indiana, just one month after state regulators approved its proposal to raise premiums nearly 15 percent.

IU Health Plans said Monday afternoon it had “restructured its product offerings for 2017” and no longer will be offering individual plans on the exchange. It said the change was necessary “to adapt to new market dynamics” as well as uncertainty created by withdrawals of several other insurers.

The health insurance marketplace in Indiana and other states faced “heightened financial uncertainty," James T. Parker, president of IU Health Plans, said in a statement.

IU Health Plans, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indiana University Health hospital system, said it recently notified affected members and the Indiana Department of Insurance of the change. It is advising members who hold individual plans through the Obamacare exchange to look for alternative coverage next year. Individual plans that include IU Health providers will be available through CareSource and MDwise, a not-for-profit health care company co-owned by IU Health.

IU Health Plans began offering coverage on the Obamacare exchanges in 2014 and covered about 27,000 people under the policies as of June, according to a filing with the Indiana Department of Insurance. IU Health said all its health plans cover about 200,000 members in Indiana, including IU Health employees. The organization will continue to offer individual coverage outside the exchanges for next year in the 62 Indiana counties it serves. It also will continue to offer commercial and Medicare Advantage plans.

In August, the Indiana Department of Insurance approved six plans submitted by insurers and posted the rates on its website. It had given the OK for IU Health Plans to increase premiums an average of 14.9 percent. The latest move by IU Health will take that down to five options: Anthem Inc., CareSource Indiana Inc., Coordinated Care Corp., Celtic Insurance Co. and MDwise Marketplace Inc. 

Several other insurers had already left the individual market, including UnitedHealthcare and Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana.

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