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You're going to lose your doctor - Obamacare driving insurers out of several states

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 8th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Several major health insurers have pulled out of Obamacare exchanges in several states after saying they cannot make profits in those states. Aetna, Blue Cross, Humana, and United have left various states with the approach of Obamacare.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Insurance companies who participate in Obamacare are compelled to accept all applicants, regardless of any preexisting conditions. This increases costs to insurers, who must raise premiums to provide care for all patients while generating profits.

In some states, where laws have been passed to restrict the costs companies may charge, insurers are concerned they cannot generate sufficient profit to stay in business, and have decided to quit those markets.

The flight of insurers makes it inevitable that Obamacare will costs many patients their existing doctors.

When he was selling Obamacare, the President promised that nobody would lose their existing insurance or doctors. Now, with the withdraw of insurers, many patients are in fact losing their physicians.

Individuals are required to have insurance either provided by their employer or purchased via government-run exchanges. Anyone without insurance will be forced to pay a tax as a penalty.

Known as the "individual mandate," the requirement was intended to force all Americans to buy insurance coverage, including the healthy, thus defraying the costs associated with being forced to accept sickly people into their programs.

However, even the healthy will require some level of care, including some care which Obamacare requires insurers to provide for free. Rather than lose money, some insurers have opted to exit the Obamacare market in some states.

Also, any person with an insurance plan that does not qualify under Obamacare will be forced to pay a penalty to the IRS. To avoid the penalty, many customers are expected to switch to qualifying plans, which effectively means companies such as Aetna will leave certain states altogether.

Aetna is leaving exchanges in three states, Connecticut, where it is based, Georgia and Maryland. The common thread is that those states have imposed limitations on rates thus preventing them from generating sufficient profits.

Aetna does not provide coverage in California. Anthem Blue Cross is also withdrawing its request to participate in Obamacare exchanges for small businesses in California.

United Health Exchange is passing on California altogether.

This exodus of insurers means individuals will enjoy less choice when deciding which plan to buy. Choice is key to competition and keeping prices low.

It will also cost many people their doctors.

Several of the companies indicated a willingness to work with state governments and regulators to do business in each state, but it is clear that no company is going to do business in a state where they cannot generate the profits they need to be financially healthy.

Neither the federal government nor any state governments are currently pledging to make any changes to keep insurers in the exchanges. 

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