Anthem pulls out of Maine's ACA exchange

Anthem’s decision to exit Maine’s ACA marketplace does not leave any parts of the state without an on-exchange insurer.

Image: Matthew Hurst/CC BY-SA 2.0

In a sign that that insurers are not placated by the collapse of another Affordable Care Act repeal bill, Anthem has announced that it will pull out of Maine’s individual marketplace.

The insurer said it will offer only one off-exchange gold-level plan in three counties in Maine next year. In 2017, it sold on-exchange plans in every county in the state, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“While we are pleased that some steps have been taken to address the long term challenges all health plans serving the individual market are facing, the market remains volatile,” Anthem said in a statement, using the same language as it has when announcing other ACA exchange exits.

“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,” the statement added.

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Because Maine has a guaranteed renewal law, Anthem’s existing individual market members on will be allowed to renew their current health plan in 2018, but those plans will be offered off-exchange and won’t be eligible to receive financial assistance or subsidies.

Anthem’s decision to exit Maine’s ACA marketplace does not leave any areas without an on-exchange insurer, as every county in the state had at least two other carriers besides Anthem in 2017, per the Kaiser Family Foundation’s map. No other carriers appear to have said they will exit in 2018.

Maine is not the only state where Anthem is pulling out: It previously confirmed that it will exit the exchanges in Nevada, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio. It has also reduced its footprint in Kentucky, Missouri, California and Georgia. However, earlier this month Anthem decided to re-enter Virginia’s marketplace after another carrier’s exit would have left 63 cities/counties without an on-exchange insurer.

Wednesday was the deadline for insurers in most states to sign contracts cementing their ACA exchange participation next year. Unless insurers made any last-minute exits that weren’t made public, it appears as though there will be no counties without an on-exchange insurer next year.

That’s a stark contrast from what the picture looked like earlier in the year while insurers figured out where they wanted to participate. At one point, there were as many as 82 projected “bare counties,” but insurers including Centene and CareSource have since stepped in to cover many of those areas.