Three insurers have now announced that they will no longer be selling individual plans in the state.
Yet another insurer has now announced that it will be leaving the individual health plan marketplace in Alaska, which has brought the number of insurance companies that will be leaving the state up to three over the last couple of months, alone.
This will cause over 5,000 Alaskans to have to seek out a new provider for their health care policies.
The three insurance companies that have given their notice during the last two months have been State Farm, Assurant Health, and Aetna. Each of them has decided that the individual health insurance market in Alaska is no longer for them. Once those three companies have left the market, this will leave only Moda Health and Primera Blue Cross to provide coverage through the exchange.
This decision by such a large percentage of the insurance companies in the state is troubling to Alaskans.
According to the director of the Alaska Division of Insurance, Lori Wing-Heier, the sudden departure of over half of the health insurance providers on the state exchange is “not only unusual, it’s somewhat frightening.” This decision from the insurers will have an impact on the individual insurance plans that are available to Alaskans who do not already have health coverage through other sources such as their employers.
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Among the three companies that are leaving the state, it will lead to the loss of insurance coverage by 5,464 Alaskans, who will then have to find other plans to cover them.
The decision to leave Alaska by Assurant Health was a component of a broader effort that it is making across the country. They are hoping to be able “to maximize shareholder value” by exiting the health insurance market across the United States. It will now be placing its focus on “housing and lifestyle specialty protection offerings.”
The other two insurance companies that are leaving are Aetna, which has said that they have “determined that we can no longer meet the needs of our customers while remaining competitive in the individual market,” (via a statement released by Aetna’s West Region director of communications, Anjie Coplin) and State Farm, which serves only 43 customers in the state.