Insurer Pulls Out Of Kansas, Missouri Health Care Exchanges

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City is pulling out of the federal health care exchanges in Kansas and Missouri next year because of mounting financial losses.

The company’s announcement Wednesday makes it just the latest insurer to drop out of the government-backed marketplaces that were a pillar of the Obama-era federal health care overhaul law. The nation’s third-largest insurer, Aetna, announced earlier this month that it will completely leave the exchanges for 2018.

Blue KC President and CEO Danette Wilson said in a statement that the company had lost more than $100 million on the exchanges through 2016 and described the losses as “unsustainable.” The exchanges began operating in 2014.

The release says about 67,000 members in western Missouri and eastern Kansas would be affected.

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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves of Missouri issued the following statement in response to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City’s (Blue KC) announcement that it will not offer or renew individual Obamacare plans in 2018. This decision will affect approximately 67,000 Kansas City-area residents, but does not change individual plans that were purchased on or prior to October 1, 2013.

 “I have said over and over that the federal government was never meant to control our healthcare system – and this is a perfect example of why,” Rep. Graves said. “The average Missourian’s premium increased by 28% in 2017, leaving fewer people able to afford coverage and forcing insurance companies to walk away from huge marketplaces – just like what happened on Wednesday.

 “Blue KC’s decision is a direct result of Obamacare’s failures, and it’s a sign of worse things to come. That’s why I’ll continue working to fully repeal and replace it.”

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