Two major insurers said this week that they wouldn’t sell insurance in Iowa’s Obamacare marketplace, both citing concerns about the current uncertainty around the health law’s future. This means that 94 of Iowa’s 99 counties will have just one insurer selling on Healthcare.gov when open enrollment starts in November.
Wellmark (Iowa’s largest health plan) announced Monday that it would no longer sell coverage in the individual market. Aetna followed on Thursday, with a spokesperson telling Bloomberg it would leave the Iowa market “as a result of financial risk and an uncertain outlook for the marketplace.”
Health insurers across the country are making decisions right now about whether they want to participate in Obamacare’s marketplace next year. These Iowa insurers are among the first to make up their minds — and have decided that the Obamacare marketplaces are just too risky of an investment in an era of repeal and replace.
How much does this have to do with current repeal push? Participation in the Obamacare marketplaces was going down before the election. You probably remember the headlines from last summer when insurance giants like United and Aetna pulled out of a lot of markets.