During a discussion with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini declared that Obama is “in a death spiral.”
Bertolini said, [relevant remarks begin around 12:45] “I think you will see a lot more withdrawals this year of plans…we’re in Nebraska. We’re the only plan left in Nebraska. No good deed goes unpunished. And so, we have now all the risk. … And it will cost us a lot of money.” He added that there isn’t enough money in Obamacare to support the risk like in Medicare Advantage.
He added, “It is in a death spiral.” Bertolini continued that we’re in a process where the population continues to get riskier, which causes rates to rise, which means people who mostly pay out of pocket leave the market, which makes the risk in the insurance pool rise. This, in turn, causes rates to rise, which causes either the plans themselves or lower risk, healthy people to leave the market.
Bertolini further stated he thinks more insurers will drop out of the market in 2018, but that he hadn’t decided what Aetna would do.
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