Anthem Cites Uncertainty over Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments, which President Trump Has Threatened to Cancel, Among other Reasons, in Decision to Leave Market
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, one day after the failure of GOP’s latest iteration of a partisan repeal bill which would have thrown the country’s health care system into chaos, the effects of President Trump’s intentional sabotage of health care were once again made clear when Anthem announced it would exit Maine’s individual insurance market next year. Why?
“‘A stable insurance market is dependent on products that create value for consumers through the broad spreading of risk and a known set of conditions upon which rates can be developed,’ said Anthem spokesman Colin Manning in a statement. ‘Today, planning and pricing for ACA-compliant health plans has become increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance, including the restoration of the health insurance tax on fully insured coverage and continued uncertainty around the future of cost sharing reduction subsidies.’”
As the Portland Press-Herald noted, however, actions taken by Congress — like the payment of cost-sharing reductions — could potentially bring Anthem back into the marketplace:
“Manning did not close the door on returning to the Maine marketplace if conditions stabilized. There are proposals in Congress to mandate that the cost-sharing reduction funding be paid to insurers, and other measures to stabilize the marketplace. ‘Our commitment to members has always been to provide greater access to affordable, quality healthcare, and we will continue to advocate solutions that will stabilize the market. As the marketplace continues to evolve and adjust to changing regulatory requirements and marketplace conditions, we will reevaluate whether a more robust presence in the exchange is appropriate in the future.’”
In response, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:
“Anthem’s decision to pull out of Maine is the direct consequence of uncertainty created in the marketplace by Republicans pushing for partisan repeal of our health care and President Trump’s intentional efforts to sabotage the law,” said Woodhouse. “President Trump has been playing politics with cost-sharing reduction payments by continually threatening to cancel them even though they lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of Americans. This uncertainty has led to decisions like Anthem’s.
“President Trump and Republicans who have cheered him on and supported repeal are intentionally harming people’s health care for sheer politics. The American people know this and they will hold them accountable for undermining the health care of the American people. Instead of sabotaging America’s health care, Republicans should follow the example of Senator Susan Collins, who has called for Democrats and Republicans to work together to improve health care for the American people.”