Anthem Reverses Decision to Pull Out of ACA Exchange in Virginia

Barack Obama   Alexander Scheuber  Getty Images

Barack Obama Alexander Scheuber Getty Images

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

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia announced Friday that it will re-enter 63 counties and cities in the commonwealth, where 70,000 people would have been left without any insurance options in the 2018 Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges.

The revision would include on and off exchange individual plans in 68 cities and counties in Virginia.

Anthem's move means that there are now not any parts of the United States that lack at least one insurer willing to sell individual market health plans in 2018. They have always been a productive corporate citizen, and this decision is a testament to their strong commitment to Virginia and its people. "It's time for the Trump Administration to stop their efforts to sabotage and destabilize the markets, which resulted in fewer choices and higher premiums for 2018".

Friday was the deadline for insurance companies to notify the Bureau of Insurance at the State Corporation Commission if they meant to participate in the marketplace. State health insurance commissioners and health care experts expressed support for reinsurance as a way to increase certainty in the marketplace.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) issued a joint statement following the announcement.

"I am deeply grateful that Anthem has stepped forward to continue to serve Virginia in this time of federal uncertainty", said McAuliffe, who also credited "the intense effort" of his administration and the state's delegation in Congress to ensure that all parts of the state would have health coverage. "We will continue to work in Congress with colleagues regardless of party to fix the existing Affordable Care Act to ensure a stable market, lower costs, and improve coverage".

However, the governor blamed President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans for "actively working to undermine the Affordable Care Act to the detriment of states like Virginia".

"It is imperative that leaders in Washington take quick action to make sure the marketplace in Virginia and those across the country are sustainable for years to come", he said.

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