Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska announced today that it will stop selling individual plans on the state’s Obamacare exchange. The decision will impact about 20,000 BCBS customers. The Omaha World Herald reports:
Blue Cross’ departure removes the state’s largest health insurer from the individual marketplace, leaving only Aetna and Medica Health to offer individual policies on the Nebraska’s exchange for 2017.
Steve Martin, the chief executive of Blue Cross, told The World-Herald that the company has lost $140 million on the exchange policies since 2014. If the trend continued, losses could total $250 million by the end of 2017, he said…
Martin said too often federal officials let people buy insurance just before they are due to receive an expensive health treatment and then drop their coverage immediately afterward. As a result, many of them pay no premiums when they are well, only when they are sick.
In other words, too many people are gaming the system. This is a problem insurers around the country have been complaining about for months.