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Anthem pulls out of Obamacare in Ohio for 2018, citing uncertainty

Posted June 6

Anthem said it won't participate on Ohio's Obamacare exchange next year, citing growing uncertainty over the law's future in Washington D.C.

The insurer ticked off a list of concerns, including "continual changes in federal operations, rules and guidance" and "an increasing lack of overall predictability."

"A stable insurance market is dependent on products that create value for consumers through the broad spreading of risk and a known set of conditions upon which rates can be developed," the company said in a statement.

The move will leave about 10,500 Ohio residents in at least 18 counties without an insurance option on the exchange unless another carrier steps in, according to the state's Department of Insurance. The agency said it will try to identify other options for residents in these areas.

Anthem, one of the largest Obamacare players, has said it is reviewing its involvement in the 14 states where it currently participates. The insurer has filed to be on the exchanges in some states for 2018, but it could still pull out. Anthem is a Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, which has served the individual market for more than seven decades.

Related: Nearly 19,000 in Missouri could be stranded after insurer pulls out of Obamacare

If the company were to withdraw from all its markets, it could leave at least 275,000 people with no Obamacare option next year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Anthem joins a growing list of insurers exiting Obamacare for 2018. Humana, Aetna, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City have all said they are pulling out, citing a mix of uncertainty and big losses from higher-than-expected bills racked up by sick policyholders. Some 19,000 Missouri residents could be stranded next year because of Blue Cross of Kansas City's withdrawal.

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