Wellmark BCBS to exit Iowa's 2018 ACA exchange

Des Moines, Iowa-based Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield will leave Iowa's ACA health insurance exchange effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The health insurer said it sustained $90 million in losses on the individual ACA market over the past three years. In addition, Wellmark said policyholders with individual plans in Iowa saw double-digit premium hikes during the same time period.

"Finding solutions to stabilize this market is in the best interest of all Iowans, including providers of healthcare and insurance carriers," Wellmark Chairman and CEO John Forsyth said. "While there are many potential solutions, the timing and relative impact of those solutions is currently unclear. This makes it difficult to establish plans for 2018."

Wellmark said its decision will affect roughly 21,400 members.

The insurer added it "look[s] forward to working with state and federal legislators to determine the best path forward."  

More articles on payer issues:
CHI Health joins BCBS of Nebraska's Medicare network
Kansas, other states pursue Medicaid expansion following AHCA withdrawal
Highmark names Dr. Charles DeShazer CMO 

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