Premium cuts drive Aetna out of 2 exchanges

Aetna has announced it no longer will be selling plans through health insurance exchanges in two states--Maryland and Connecticut.

The insurer originally planned to join Maryland's state-based exchange, proposing to raise premiums by 25.4 percent, which was the highest increase among participating insurers. But after Maryland regulators cut Aetna's rate by 29 percent, the company said the final approved premiums would force it to operate at a loss, reported the Baltimore Sun.

"Unfortunately, we believe the modifications to the rates filed by Aetna ... would not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans, including the medical network and service expectations of our customers," Aetna said in a letter to Maryland Insurance Commissioner Therese Goldsmith, according to Reuters.

"This is not a step that we take lightly," Aetna said in a statement. "We believe it is critical that our plans not only be competitive, but also financially viable."

Only a few days later, Aetna announced it wouldn't participate in Connecticut's online marketplace either. The reason was again premium costs, as Aetna said the state's reduction to its rates wouldn't let it collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans and meet customers' service expectations, the Connecticut Mirror reported.

To learn more:
- read the Baltimore Sun article
- see the Reuters article
- check out the Connecticut Mirror article