Health insurance exchange in Maryland loses Aetna plans

Maryland Insurance

The giant insurer has announced that it is withdrawing its policies from the state marketplace.

Aetna has revealed that it feels that the approved rates in Maryland are not feasible, as it scrutinizes the offerings it has across the rest of the United States, and has now canceled its intentions to sell health insurance within that state’s exchange.

The marketplace is slated to open on October 1, 2013 in order to comply with the federal healthcare reforms.

The intention to sell health insurance plans as a part of the new health insurance exchange in Maryland was withdrawn by Aetna Inc. on Friday. The company had been one of a handful of other insurers that were prepared to sell their policies within the online marketplace, including Coventry Health Care, which was acquired by Aetna earlier this year.

Maryland Health InsuranceHowever, Aetna has now changed its mind and has contacted the Commissioner to bow out of the health insurance exchange.

Aetna contacted Therese M. Goldsmith, the Commissioner in Maryland, through a letter that said that cuts that had been proposed for the rates of health insurance companies, by the state regulators, “would not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans.”

The result is that it means that consumers will have fewer choices on the exchange when it comes time to purchase health insurance, which will be mandatory at the start of next year. Those who will be purchasing the coverage include individuals who don’t currently have a policy as well as those whose employers do not provide plans.

At the same time, though, officials from the state said that they don’t believe that the options available to consumers will drop by very much even with the loss of both Aetna and Coventry. They are hopeful that the health insurance exchange will continue to keep the cost of coverage low for consumers in the state by way of competition among the remaining carriers. Moreover, the more people enroll through the online marketplace, the more it is anticipated that the costs will decline.

According to Aetna in a statement, withdrawing from the health insurance exchange “is not a step that we take lightly,” adding that “We believe it is critical that our plans not only be competitive, but also financially viable.”

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