Health Insurance News May 2016

health insurer newsUpdate May 13th 10:00AM ET

Health insurance news from May 1st through May 15th is aggregated here in this post.   Last month, the big health insurance company news was related to UnitedHealth’s decision to exit many state marketplaces.

Moda Health to exit Alaska health insurance marketplace for 2017Moda Health announced on Monday of their intention to leave the Alaska individual marketplace for 2017, leaving only one health insurance provider in the state insurance marketplace, Premera Blue Cross.

[wpanchor id=”1″] Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois to stop accepting credit cards. BCBS Illinois announced they will no longer accept credit cards for insurance payments for individual health plans.

Steep Obamacare rate increases may be election hot topic.  No real surprise here, experts are expecting to see significant rate increases this fall, in light of the large losses that many health insurance companies have absorbed thus far.


Update May 4th 8:00AM

Oregon health insurance companies requesting large rate hikesAll but one Oregon health insurer offering individual health plans on exchange is requesting double digit rate increases for 2017.  The two largest players Moda Health and Providence Health Plan are requesting rate hikes of 32.3% and 29.6% respectively.


Update May 5th 7:30AM ET

Humana weighs exit from Obamacare MarketplacesHumana may be following UnitedHealth’s and exiting Obamacare marketplaces in some states.  The wildcard in their exchange participation may be their pending merger with Aetna.

Update May 6th 7:30AM ET

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina may exit North Carolina Insurance Exchange.  After a rocky 2016 dogged by systems failures and continued financial losses resulting from participation on the Obamacare Marketplace, BCBSNC is contemplating exiting the North Carolina exchange.


Update May 9th 7:30AM ET

States that Humana is exiting include:

Wisconsin (6,600 Impacted)

Alabama (15,000 impacted)

Virginia (1,800 impacted)

[wpanchor id=”2″]Kansas (1,800 impacted — but were only off-exchange)

Nevada (# impacted TBD — off-exchange only)

Additional North Carolina Marketplace news: In additional exit news, according to, Celtic insurance company appears to be exiting the North Carolina Marketplace, although they only offered 1 plan on exchange (Bronze) which had only a handful of enrollees.


Update May 10th 7:30AM ET

Feds to hold health insurer conference to showcase ACA Success Stories. On June 9th, Aetna, BCBS Florida and other health insurers will share their winning strategies with other health insurers that have struggled under new Obamacare environment.

Cigna says Acquisition by Anthem may not close until 2017.  If the proposed $48B deal doesn’t close by 1/31/2017, Anthem will owe Cigna a breakup fee of $1.85B — if not pushed back — Ouch!

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Update May 11th 11:30AM ET

8% avg. rate increase predicted in California.  Covered California, the state’s official insurance marketplace is estimating an avg. rate increase of 8% in 2017 for individual health plans.  Modest rate increases of 4% were experienced by CA residents over the past two years.


Update May 12th

Cigna becomes first health insurer to reach value-based contract with drug maker. Cigna will get extra discounts from drug maker if patients aren’t helped as much as expected.

Aetna not withdrawing from any exchanges and may expand into new state marketplacesDespite the well documented Obamacare struggles by some health insurers such as UnitedHealth.  Aetna may expand beyond their current footprint of 15 exchange marketplaces.

[wpanchor id=”4″]Humana seeks SIGNIFICANT rate increases in Michigan.  Humana is seeking a 50% rate hike on lowest priced silver plan and 38% inc. on lowest priced bronze plan.  Yikes!

GOP wins big ACA lawsuit against Obama administration.  A federal judge ruled Thursday that the Obama administration improperly used funds to pay for an ACA subsidy program.  An appeal will be undoubtedly forthcoming.


Update May 13th

Coventry Health & Medica look to join Kansas exchange for 2017.  Two health insurers including Minnesota based Medica and Aetna subsidiary Coventry Health have filed applications to sell individual health plans on Kansas exchange in 2017.   This announcement is on the heals of UnitedHealth exiting the Kansas Marketplace.

Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to sell plans on Iowa insurance exchangeAfter three years of watching from the sideline, Wellmark BCBS, the dominant health insurance carrier in Iowa will offer individual health plans on the Iowa exchange in 2017.

Florida health insurers seek steep rate increases for 201715 Florida health insurers filed rate increases averaging 17.7 for 2017 for Obamacare plans.  Note:  filed rate increases and approved rate increases are two different things.



Stop back for more health insurance news updates over the next couple weeks.   2017 health insurance company rate filings should start coming in over the next month.


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