Patrick Ishmael

In the last few months Americans found out that several insurers, including major players Aetna and United, would largely exit the Obamacare exchanges in the coming year. In most Missouri counties, that leaves only one insurer providing any kind of exchange coverage at all. As I pointed out in Forbes, Missouri has been more or less divvied up among Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers, with effective exchange monopolies for both in many regions of the state.

Well, it's not even 2017 yet, and one of the BCBS companies is giving Missouri health insurance customers something to dread in 2018.

Another insurance giant has signaled that it could exit state Obamacare exchanges if health plans don't become more profitable in the coming year.
 
Anthem Inc. executives said during an earnings call Wednesday that they will evaluate the company's performance in marketplaces across the U.S., including in Indiana, where it offers insurance under the Affordable Care Act. If conditions don't improve, executives said, Anthem could pull out of some or all states where the company offers insurance.
 
As I've noted, while there are technically four insurers in Missouri's exchange, the vast majority of counties have only one insurer. The insurance provider in most of those one-insurer counties: Anthem. 
 
First tab shows where there's only one insurer; second tab shows where Anthem does business.

In other words, Missouri insurance customers are already at risk today... and may be at even greater risk in the very near future, especially if Anthem exits as it's contemplating.

There are ways to make health care in this country more affordable and accessible, but unfortunately, Obamacare isn't that solution. It's time to try something different.

About the Author

Patrick Ishmael

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute.