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More Than a Million People on Obamacare Could Lose Their Insurance Plans

Oct 14, 2016

Insurers pulling back on Obamacare could cause some 1.4 million people to lose their coverage, according to a new analysis.

In recent months, major insurers including Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealth decided to stop selling individual health insurance through most of the Affordable Care Act exchanges in 2017, saying they were losing money from those markets. Some regional insurers have done the same.

That means at least 1.4 million people in 32 states will have to go insurance hunting again next year, Bloomberg reported, based on data from state insurance regulators. That accounts for 13% of the 11.1 million who were covered under Obamacare in the end of March.

Another six states either declined to give numbers, or could not give an estimate.

Consumers who have bought their insurance through the Affordable Care Act in Florida and North Carolina will be most affected by companies leaving Obamacare. Over 400,000 in Florida and roughly 284,000 in North Carolina will have to seek new options.

In August, Aetna said it would stop selling individual insurance in 11 states while it was fighting a U.S. Government lawsuit aimed at blocking its $34 billion merger with Humana. At the time, Aetna sent a letter to the Department of Justice, saying that if the government blocked the deal, Aetna would have trouble keeping its insurance in ACA exchanges.

“Our ability to withstand these losses is dependent on our achieving anticipated synergies in the Humana acquisition,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini wrote.

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