On June 6th, Anthem, who is one of the largest sellers of ACA individual health insurance, announced they are exiting Ohio’s ACA individual market for 2018. Anthem is the only insurer selling health insurance exchange products in all 88 Ohio counties in 2017 and is the only insurer in 20 counties, according to Ohio Department of Insurance spokesperson Chris Brock. In 2018, the move would leave about 10,500 people in at least 18 counties with no insurer.
Below is a fact sheet the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) released yesterday to further explain the impact of Anthem’s decision to leave the ACA individual market.
Anthem Fact Sheet
• In 2016, 17 companies sold health insurance on the federal exchange in Ohio.
• In 2017, only 11 companies are selling health insurance on the federal exchange in Ohio.
• In 2016, all 88 counties had at least four insurers selling exchange products.
• In 2017, 20 counties only had one insurer selling health insurance on the exchange and 27 counties had just two.
• In 2017, Anthem is the only insurer selling health insurance exchange products in all 88 counties and it is the only insurer in the 20 counties with just one insurer.
• Based on preliminary filing submissions made to the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI), Anthem’s reductions across the state will leave at least 18 counties with no insurer in 2018.
o Those 18 counties are; Coshocton, Crawford, Guernsey, Hancock, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Paulding, Perry, Van Wert, Vinton, Wyandot.
• In Ohio, Anthem will continue to cover approximately 3.4 million people across many types of insurance including small group and large group plans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is impacted?
Ohioans who bought health insurance from Anthem on the exchange will need to find another insurer for 2018, but they have coverage until December 31, 2017. Approximately 10,500 Ohioans in at least 18 counties, however, will have no health insurance options from the exchange in 2018. The Department of Insurance is looking at options to solve this problem.
When will I be impacted by these changes?
Those in the counties where no insurer is planning to sell exchange plans will be impacted starting January 1, 2018.
I’m not on the exchange so how does this announcement impact me and my health insurance?
Those with health insurance through employer provided insurance, Medicare or Medicaid will not be impacted.
What is causing these changes to Ohio’s health insurance market?
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Ohio had a very competitive health insurance market—many companies offered plans so prices were relatively lower compared to other states. New regulations from ACA have driven some companies out of Ohio and made it harder for them to do business, both of which have driven up the cost of health insurance in Ohio.
What is ODI doing to improve the current situation?
The best, long-term fix is to repeal the ACA and replace it with better regulations that both ensure high quality and help drive down costs with more competition. Until then, the Department will work to identify potential options that could help the approximately 10,500 Ohioans living in the counties that may not have an insurer selling exchange plans in 2018.
I need assistance to understand my situation and my options. Who should I contact?
Consumers with questions should contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526.