Half of Indiana’s insurers will leave the Affordable Care Act exchanges next year after Anthem and MDwise announced their exit last month. Anthem and MDwise were the only healthcare providers that offered ACA plans in the state’s 92 counties, and now approximately 147,000 Hoosiers enrolled in an exchange plan are at risk of having no coverage options, according to IndyStar.
Anthem and MDwise’s 2018 exit is particularly concerning for small business owners. Nationally, 28 percent of small business owners purchased an individual market health insurance plan through the government exchange for themselves, according to NFIB data. Of those who are covered through exchange plans, around 57 percent received a reduced rate through a taxpayer subsidy.
Contingent upon where the remaining insurers—CareSource and Centene—choose to offer plans, Hoosiers enrolled in exchange plans may find coverage, although options will be limited.
“Indiana is one of many states where Obamacare is failing to provide citizens options to affordable, quality healthcare,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement.
Anthem and MDWise cited volatility and uncertainty over the market’s future as reasons behind their exits. The remaining insurers could increase their rates significantly without assurance that the government will continue to offer cost-sharing subsidies or that the requirement that most people obtain insurance will continue to be enforced.
With plans to repeal and replace the ACA in both the House and the Senate, these questions have not yet been answered. Anthem and MDwise’s ACA exit “underscores the need for reform, and Indiana is poised to lead the way if given the flexibility and time to tailor the best solutions,” said Holcomb.
For small business owners to benefit, reform must eliminate burdensome taxes and complex rules in order to protect businesses from skyrocketing premiums and limited coverage options.