Aetna Pulls out of Obamacare – What it Means for the Future
As you may have heard, the large insurance provider Aetna is the latest insurer to announce that it is pulling out of several Affordable Care Act state healthcare exchanges. Aetna withdrew from 11 states last week, leaving approximately 167,600 patients without healthcare coverage – many of them in rural areas where access to care was already compromised. In fact, Aetna’s decision has created another fascinatingly gloomy development: Pinal County, Arizona, has just become the first county in the nation to have no Affordable Care Act providers. Which county will be next? We are all but certain that more will follow.
Once again, we see that the Affordable Care Act is doing precisely the opposite of what it was designed to. It was implemented to give Americans healthcare coverage, and yet because of the costly impact it has on insurers and employers, the ACA is actually taking coverage away. If you thought we needed healthcare reform prior to 2009, look at the extent to which we need reform now. As you may know, we at GM&A Healthcare Consultants believe the path to that reform is our direct contracting health plan model.
When healthcare providers (not insurance companies, and certainly not government-implemented exchanges) compete for the business of employers who provide employee benefits, everyone wins. The employer wins by saving money, the employee wins by getting outstanding coverage from local providers that were chosen specifically for their network, and providers win because they get paid quickly and fairly. Direct contracting can and should be the future of American healthcare. It’s time to get on board this train now, because if the news about Aetna is any indication, the Affordable Care Act catastrophe is only posed to get worse.