UPDATE: Anthem, MDwise pulling out of Indiana health insurance exchanges

Two health insurers are pulling out of Indiana’s insurance exchanges next year, citing growing uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act. Together, they represent about 77,000 members who must now find other health plans.

Anthem Inc. and MDwise Marketplace, both based in Indianapolis, said Wednesday they would not offer individual plans next year on the Obamacare exchanges.

“The individual market remains volatile, making planning and pricing for ACA-compliant health plans increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating 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,” Anthem said in a written statement.

It said about 46,000 people would be affected by the decision.

The move would not affect the vast majority of the 4 million members in its Indiana Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. Nor would it affect those who have employer-provided insurance, those with Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Medicaid or those enrolled in “grandfathered” plans purchased before March 2010.

MDwise Marketplace said its decision was influenced by the growing uncertainty over the future of the federally subsidized exchange. The company said it lost $21 million last year on the exchanges. Its exit will affect about 30,800 members

Insurers are finalizing their plans for next year. The Indiana Department of Insurance plans to release information Thursday on which companies are offering plans on the exchanges, and the proposed rates the companies are seeking.

Anthem's move follows the company’s announcement earlier this month that it would not return to Ohio's public insurance exchanges next year. CEO Joseph Swedish told investors last month the company was in deep conversations with regulators in the 14 states where Anthem sells health insurance.

“We’ve been informed that Anthem and MDwise plan to leave the Obamacare marketplace in Indiana," Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a written statement. "Hoosiers served by these providers under the federal marketplace will keep their coverage through the end of the year, and this action does not apply to those who are insured through their employers or are members of HIP 2.0, Medicaid or Medicare.

“We’ll know the full extent of the issues with the Obamacare marketplace tomorrow when all provider rates are published, but this is more evidence that the current federal system isn’t working. Indiana is one of many states where Obamacare is failing to provide citizens options to affordable, quality health care. This underscores the need for reform, and Indiana is poised to lead the way if given the flexibility and time to tailor the best solutions.”

Last year, Indiana University Health Plans pulled 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, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indiana University Health hospital system, said the change was necessary “to adapt to new market dynamics” as well as uncertainty created by withdrawals of several other insurers.

Last year, the Indiana Department of Insurance approved six plans submitted by insurers, many with higher rates. The average premiums for the insurers ranged from an increase of 29 percent by Anthem Inc. to a decrease of 5.3 percent by Chicago-based Celtic Insurance Co.

Many insurers, like Anthem, have said they are worried about the future of the exchanges, which generally make up a small slice of their business but have generated steep losses for them and soaring prices for many customers.

Anthem also said Wednesday it is reducing its 2018 individual plan offering to one off-exchange medical plan in Benton, Newton, White, Jasper and Warren counties.

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