Centene Runs Against Current on Obamacare

Centene Runs Against Current on Obamacare”

"Centene recognizes there is uncertainty of new healthcare legislation, but we are well positioned to continue providing accessible, high quality and culturally-sensitive healthcare services to our members", Michael F. Neidorff, the for-profit company's chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. Without the subsidies, insurers have said they would exit the marketplaces. Insurer exits have reduced competition in many of those states, and left some counties in OH and Washington facing the prospect of having no Obamacare options for 2018.

Centene also plans to expand into the Nevada exchange. Uncertainty over the government's willingness to continue the subsidies has prompted health insurers that want to remain in the exchanges to warn that without them, individual plan rates could rise about 20 percent.

As other insurers flee-or at least consider fleeing-the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, Centene is doing just the opposite.

The company, which serves 1.2 million customers, will become the fourth to offer medical coverage through Nevada's Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.

In Florida, the state's biggest insurer Florida Blue said it will sell Obamacare plans throughout the state next year.

Centene's added commitment to the ACA exchanges runs counter to the actions of most other insurers, which have imposed double-digit premium increases or left exchanges altogether due to costs of maintaining a program where no one with pre-existing conditions can be denied coverage.

UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest insurer, filed tentative plans to do Obamacare business in NY and Nevada.

Centene's announcement is positive news for the exchanges, but the question remains how many other payers will follow suit - especially with President Donald Trump's administration's actively criticizing the exchanges. Most of its customers this year were renewals from 2016, which makes it easier to figure out prices.

The expansion comes after several insurers said over the past few weeks that they are leaving the ACA exchanges in various states.

Other big insurers such as Anthem Inc., which sells Blue Cross-Blue Shield coverage in California and NY, have not ironed out all their 2018 plans.

The Kansas City Star got the emails through an open-records request filed with the Missouri Department of Insurance.

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