Thursday, August 18, 2016

As Insurers Like Aetna Balk, U.S. Makes New Push to Bolster Health Care Act

The New York Times reports:
Facing high-profile withdrawals from online insurance exchanges and surging premiums, the Obama administration is preparing a major push to enroll new participants into public marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act.

The administration is eyeing an advertising campaign featuring testimonials from newly insured consumers, as well as direct appeals to young people hit by tax penalties this year for failing to enroll.

But as many insurers continue to lose money on the exchanges, they say the administration’s response is too late and too weak. The companies point to a fundamental dynamic in the marketplace in which too few healthy people are buying policies and too many sick people are filing costly claims.

And the uneasy truce between the government and insurers, which followed adoption of the health care law, appears to be fraying as some of the large companies say they are leaving or sharply scaling back. Aetna warned the Justice Department last month that the company would curtail its participation in the exchanges if the government sued to block its acquisition of Humana, a major competitor.
I'm so old I remember when progressives told me it's bad to waste money on advertising by health insurers.