OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska has announced it’s leaving the federal Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchanges.
The state’s largest health insurer said Friday in a news release that it will leave the government health insurance marketplace effective Jan. 1, citing increased costs and decreased competition and consumer choice as other insurers across the country have bowed out of the exchanges.
Blue Cross Blue Shield says that since it began selling individual plans through the exchanges, “we have lost approximately $140 million.”
Its decision will not affect Medicare supplement or group plans.
With Blue Cross Blue Shield’s exit, only Aetna and Medica Health are left to offer individual policies on the exchange to Nebraskans for 2017.
Gov. Pete Ricketts statement:
“This is further evidence that the Affordable Care Act was bad policy. When solid companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield pull out of the market, something is structurally wrong with the system.”
Sen. Deb Fischer statement:
“The failures of ObamaCare are self-evident. Nebraska families continue to be hurt by this failed law with higher costs and fewer choices. It simply does not work, and it is collapsing under its own weight.”
Rep. Adrian Smith statement:
“When Nebraska’s largest insurer must stop participating in the Obamacare marketplace due to losses totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars, what more proof do we need Obamacare is not sustainable? The president’s health care law has already hurt thousands of Nebraskans with the collapse of CoOportunity Health, and now 20,000 more will lose coverage and have to scramble to figure out how to avoid tax penalties with even fewer choices.
“Obamacare is a failure, and Nebraskans cannot continue to shoulder its consequences. We need our next president to work with Congress on our plan to give Americans more health coverage options while reducing costs and returning decisions to patients and their doctors.”