Anthem Expands Obamacare Options in Virginia to Fill Gaps


"Today, planning and pricing for [Obamacare]-compliant health plans has become increasingly hard due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance, including cost-sharing reduction subsidies and the restoration of taxes on fully insured coverage", Anthem said Friday.

Reversing course from a decision to abandon Virginia's marketplace, Anthem announced Friday it will offer a health insurance plan on the exchange set up by the Affordable Care Act.

"I am thankful that Anthem has chose to remain in the marketplace and offer coverage to hardworking Virginians".

63 cities and counties and more than 70,000 enrollees in Virginia will have an insurer participating in their Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange next year, as insurance giant Anthem announced it will re-enter the state's individual insurance market.

Anthem said it sized up the situation and made a decision to walk back its plans, announced in early August, to leave the state's marketplace in 2018.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, said in a statement that Anthem's "decision to make sure every locality in Virginia is served is a recognition that all Virginians need access to health care and a direct reflection of the intense effort by our administration, our Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and our entire congressional delegation to convince Anthem of the value of continuing to offer plans in these localities".

Exits by other insurers had left Virginians in 63 counties without a single choice on the exchanges set by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Anthem initially stayed in but pulled back in August when President Donald Trump refused to guarantee cost-sharing subsidies that help people afford high deductibles. Later, it chose to offer coverage in five counties that otherwise wouldn't have had options.

"Growing and diversifying the Virginia economy, improving our state's quality of life, and making Virginia the best place to grow up are all related priorities that are closely linked and each requires a strong, best in class health care system".

"There will be no jurisdiction that doesn't have one at least one carrier, but they're not returning statewide", Gray said. But it revised its health insurance offerings for 2018 on Friday. Unlike the roughly 1 million people covered by Medicaid, and a similar amount of people 65 and older who are covered by Medicare and its programs in Virginia, those on the exchange pay a percentage of their income for coverage.

Work still needs to be done on stabilizing Virginia's marketplace and those nationwide, Gray added.

"I am appreciative that Anthem reentered the market, ensuring that Southwest Virginians will have an option to purchase health insurance in 2018", Congressman Morgan Griffith said.

Canty can be reached by phone at 247-4832.