AP: Health insurer to drop individual plans in 17 counties

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Health insurance company Anthem plans to stop offering individual plans next year in 17 Missouri counties, including the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

The Indianapolis-based Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer said Friday that the individual health insurance market remains volatile and that pricing individual plans that comply with the federal Affordable Care Act is difficult.
Anthem plans to continue offering individual health plans for 68 Missouri counties both on and off the federal online marketplace. The company said such coverage would not otherwise be available in those counties.
Anthem also plans to stop selling individual plans for residents of Columbia, Joplin and Springfield.

Read Anthem's entire statement below:

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has been committed to offering Affordable Care Act plans since the marketplace began in 2014. We take pride in the fact Missourians have trusted us to provide them greater access to high-quality, affordable health care.

After significant dialogue with federal leaders and regulators, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has made the difficult decision to revise our filings for our 2018 Individual plan offerings in Missouri.

Beginning in 2018, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will offer on and off exchange (ACA) Individual health plans in 68 counties that would otherwise not have health insurance coverage for their residents, which is a reduction from the footprint Anthem currently offers. It’s important to note, individuals who are enrolled in Grandfathered Individual or family health plans, or transitional policies, or who have employer-sponsored insurance, or Medicare are not impacted by these changes.

Our commitment to members has always been to provide greater access to affordable, quality healthcare, and we will remain focused on developments in the Individual marketplace. We continue to advocate solutions that will stabilize the market and allow us to return to a more robust presence in Missouri in the future.

A stable insurance market is dependent on products that create value for consumers through the broad spreading of risk and a known set of conditions upon which rates can be developed. We are pleased that some steps have been taken to address the long term challenges all health plans serving the individual market are facing. However, the continued uncertainty makes it difficult for us to offer Individual health plans statewide.

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