Cigna is the latest insurer to pull out of Maryland’s health exchange for 2018, following UnitedHealthcare last year and Aetna, which earlier announced a 2018 departure.
In May, Cigna had initially requested a premium rate increase of 37 percent for individual market plans, but last month, the insurer withdrew its application and announced it wouldn’t return to the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
The Baltimore Business Journal reported a portion of the company’s explanation letter to the Maryland Insurance Administration from Julia Huggins, president of Cigna Mid-Atlantic: “Cigna individual solutions have performed poorly since we have participated on the exchange and our losses continue to increase year over year in Maryland. Based on competitive developments and marketplace volatility, we determined that we cannot support a sustainable individual plan business in the state in 2018.”
While Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer said Cigna signaledt it would return to the marketplace in 2019 after adjusting its offerings and pricing for individual plans, this latest move is another example of the volatility of the health insurance landscape with the future of the ACA in limbo in Washington.
Insurers remaining in Maryland to pick up the roughly 600 members that were covered by Cigna are CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente, and Evergreen Health. CareFirst will have the dominant market share at two-thirds, and it has requested average rate increases of 50.4 percent for its HMO and 58.8 percent for its PPO plans.