The first insurer to announce withdrawal this week, Optima Health, will cut its Virginia footprint in half. That means that around 70,000 Virginians will have no insurance options next year unless another insurer steps in to fill the gap, Mathews writes. In other states where all insurers withdrew, others specializing in plans for low-income people have stepped in to fill the vacuums. All U.S. counties in had Obamacare insurance choices as of Aug. 25.
|Bloomberg interactive map updated as of Sept. 7. Click on image to enlarge. Click here for interactive version.|
Anthem similarly announced on Sept. 6 that it would cut in half the number of Kentucky counties in which it will offer individual Obamacare plans in 2018. "Anthem's decision to sell individual plans in just 59 counties in Kentucky comes more than two months after the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer filed proposed rates for health plans in 2018 for all 120 counties in the state," Dan Mangan reports for CNBC. "So far, Anthem has announced that it will significantly reduce its Obamacare footprint next year in nine out of the 14 states where it currently sells individual health plans both on and outside of government-run marketplaces." The pullback in those states will not affect Anthem's group insurance or Medicaid plans.
The Kentucky Department of Insurance told Mangan that the areas Anthem is vacating will be covered by CareSource, which specializes in managing Medicaid programs for the poor.