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Insurance Options Dwindle in Some Rural Regions

A lot of insurance companies are finding rural aread to be unprofitable and are pulling out of those areas. This article explains what’s happening: Some health insurers quit unprofitable markets; ACA exchanges in some areas will have one insurer UnitedHealth Group has said it will leave all but a handful of the 34 states where it sold exchange plans this year amid losses. UnitedHealth Group has said it will leave all but a handful of the 34 states where it sold exchange plans this year amid losses. Health-insurance customers in a growing number of mostly rural regions will have just one insurer’s plans to choose from on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges next year, as some companies pull out of unprofitable markets. The entire states of Alaska and Alabama are expected to have only one insurer on the health law’s signature online marketplaces next year, according to state regulators. The same is expected to be true in parts of several other states, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arizona and Oklahoma, state regulators said. So far, more than 650 counties appear on track to have just one insurer on the exchanges in 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is tracking withdrawals as they become public. That would be up from 225 in 2016, when the state of Wyoming, among other areas, already had just one ACA marketplace competitor. Of the counties in jeopardy of having only a single exchange insurer next year, 70% have populations that are mostly rural, said Cynthia Cox, a researcher at the foundation. Disclosures of new market entries or further pullbacks will change the totals in coming months, Ms. Cox said. Filings in many states aren’t yet public, and insurers can tweak their approaches until September. Kori Allen, a bookkeeper in Kodiak, Alaska, this year has an exchange plan from Moda Health Plan Inc., which will pull out of the state’s ACA marketplace next year. Ms. Allen, 36 years old, who receives a federal subsidy that helps with her premiums, worries about what will happen when there is only one insurer, Premera Blue Cross, offering exchange products: “It’s going to be a monopoly, basically; ‘here’s the price, take it or leave it.’” Premera Blue Cross, which had steep losses in Alaska’s exchange last year, said it is committed to the market there. “We have been working very closely with regulators and legislators to establish a long-term solution to make the market more sustainable and attract more insurers to the state,” said a spokeswoman. For more information about this article click here.

Many ObamaCare Customers Down to One Provider As

Insurance Companies Pull Out

This article from the Wall Street Journal explains why Obama Care is responsible for insurance companies leaving many areas of the United States: The Wall Street Journal notes that the exodus of insurance companies from the collapsing ObamaCare system leaves many rural customers with only a single provider option. This effectively turns ObamaCare into a state mandated monopoly, where the government forces citizens to buy products from a single private-sector corporation with no competitors whatsoever – just like the Founding Fathers intended! “The entire states of Alaska and Alabama are expected to have only one insurer on the health law’s signature online marketplaces next year, according to state regulators,” writes the Journal. “The same is expected to be true in parts of several other states, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arizona and Oklahoma, state regulators said.” That means more than 650 counties across the nation will have only a single insurance provider on their ObamaCare exchanges in 2017, a dramatic increase from 225 counties in 2016. 70 percent of those counties have mostly rural populations, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. And it could get even worse, because “disclosures of new market entries or further pullbacks will change the totals in coming months.” Holding your breath waiting for a significant number of new entries to the ObamaCare marketplace is medically inadvisable. Even some of the companies announcing vague plans to move into states vacated by departing giants like UnitedHealth are explicitly stating they’ll stay out of rural counties. The Wall Street Journal quotes an ObamaCare enrollee, bookkeeper Kori Allen of Kodiak, Alaska, who will lose her existing health insurance plan when her provider pulls out of the local network this year: “It’s going to be a monopoly, basically; ‘here’s the price, take it or leave it.’” It might even be worse than that, because the remaining provider in Allen’s network, Premara Blue Cross, doesn’t sound terribly enthusiastic about the future of ObamaCare. “We have been working very closely with regulators and legislators to establish a long-term solution to make the market more sustainable and attract more insurers to the state,” said a company representative. The Journal then quotes a Department of Health and Human Services official who admits HHS “would expect a rise in one-issuer counties” next year, but they’re “pretty confident” there won’t be any ACA marketplaces with zero providers… although they “couldn’t completely rule out the possibility.” Click here to read more of this article.

CELEBS BLACKLISTED BY INSURANCE COMPANIES

Because of 'Cosby Effect'

Thanks to all the lawsuits brougnt about by Bill Cosby, insurance companies are making it harder for celebrities to get lawsuit insurance. This article explains what’s happening. Cosby has made it next to impossible for entertainers and athletes to get insurance companies to write them adequate policies protecting them from lawsuits. Various well connected sources in the insurance industry tell us, the flood of accusations and lawsuits against Cosby has scared insurance companies, which now realize the comedian's insurance company may have to pay out tens of millions of dollars to his alleged victims. It all centers around umbrella policies ... which allow people to get massive supplements to their homeowners and auto policies. Celebs with lots of money often get umbrella policies that will cover $20 million to $30 million in lawsuit judgments. We're told in recent years insurance companies have been reluctant to write umbrella policies for high-profile people -- especially athletes. Our sources say it goes beyond celebs who commit misdeeds. Insurance companies know high-profile people have become targets for people who just want to make a quick buck. Read more here.
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By Sid Richardson