Aetna CEO: There will be markets with no coverage in 2018

Speaking at a Wall Street Journal conference, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said the ACA exchanges are "in a death spiral."

When asked by WSJ Business Editor Dennis Berman if he saw a terminal date for the markets, Mr. Bertolini replied, "My anticipation will be that in '18 we'll see a lot of markets without any coverage at all."

Healthy people are leaving the market because they don't want to pay the premiums and health plans themselves are leaving as the risk pools get worse. Now in some states, there is just one payer on the exchanges, he said. Mr. Bertolini said Aetna was the only payer on the Nebraska exchange, for example. However, Nebraska does have another payer on its ACA exchange: Medica. 

"There isn't enough money in the ACA today as a structure, even with the fees and taxes, to support the population that needs to be served," Mr. Bertolini said.

He did not confirm or deny whether the company plans to pull out of the exchanges entirely in 2018. Watch the interview here.

Correction: This article was updated Feb. 23, 2017 at 2:36 p.m. CT. It previously neglected to state that Medica is also on the Nebraska exchange. We regret this error.

 

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