By Robert Donachie
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Monday afternoon that only 141 Obamacare individual market qualified health plan insurers filed preliminary applications to offer plans on the state exchanges in 2018, a 38 percent drop from the 2017 filing period.
Some 227 Obamacare-compliant insurance providers submitted applications to offer plans on the state exchanges at the 2017 deadline, and only 167 insurers actually participated in the exchanges, CMS reported in a statement released to The Daily Caller News Foundation. Insurance participation fell 26 percent from 2016, at the onset of the 2017 open enrollment period.
One important thing to note is that each major insurance provider gets counted separately in each state, as there are not 141 insurance companies participating on the exchanges.
“This is further proof that the Affordable Care Act is failing,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in the statement. “Insurers continue to flee the Exchanges, causing Americans to lose their choice for health insurance or lose their coverage all together. These numbers are clear: the status quo is not working. The American people deserve healthcare choices and access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage.”
The applications were by insurers in the 39 states serviced by the Obamacare state exchanges.
Three major insurance providers have pulled out of Obamacare entirely in 2018, and others are drastically reducing their exposure on the exchanges, as evident from Monday’s CMS report.
Some 49 counties across four states will be left without an insurance provider on the state exchanges and as many as 1,300 counties — approximately 40 percent of counties nationwide — could be left with only one insurance provider in 2018.
“Year after year, insurers are finding Obamacare unworkable and are abandoning it in droves. Barely half the number of issuers who initially filed to sell plans on Healthcare.gov in 2016 want to participate in 2018, and a vast majority of them left before the most recent open enrollment period,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said in a statement released to TheDCNF.
“Congress must act now to repair the damage Obamacare has inflicted and put in place a patient-centered system that is responsive to the needs of individuals and families, not the demands of Washington,” Price said.
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