Health insurance giant Aetna is pulling out of the Affordable Care Act individual insurance exchanges in Iowa, the company announced Thursday.
The move comes after Wellmark, another large player in Iowa’s ACA markets, said Tuesday it would also leave Iowa’s exchanges.
Based on the current offerings, after the exits five Iowa counties will have two insurers left and the other 99 will have only one: Medica.
Aetna said the decision was due to uncertainty surrounding the future of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, and financial losses the company was taking.
“Earlier today we informed the appropriate federal and state regulators that Aetna will not participate in the Iowa individual public exchange for 2018 as a result of financial risk and an uncertain outlook for the marketplace,” said Aetna spokesman TJ Crawford, who added the insurer was also evaluating all of their individual insurance offerings.
Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen pinned the blame on the ACA itself.
“We’re deeply troubled by the angst and concern the Affordable Care Act is causing in Iowa,” Ommen said in a statement. “This is a problem created by the Affordable Care Act and needs to be fixed by Congress.”
The uncertainty comes as President Donald Trump and Republicans have begun attempting to repeal the ACA and the Department of Health and Human Services has said it will do anything it can to offer “relief” from Obamacare.
Aetna also announced in August 2016 that it was pulling out of roughly 70% of the markets where it offered Obamacare plans in part due to financial losses. The company also left those exchanges partly because of the failure of its proposed merger with rival Humana.
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