(NaturalNews) Healthcare providers are increasingly unable to survive unforeseen costs associated with Obamacare. In June, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas announced its plan to significantly increase health insurance rates, hitting the pocketbooks of some 600,000 residents.
Now, healthcare insurer Aetna has announced that it will completely pull out of the Affordable Care Act individual public exchanges in 11 states, due to millions of dollars in losses. The provider said that it will still offer coverage in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia, but will cease operations in 11 other states beginning next year, as reported by Breitbart.
A statement released by Aetna Chairman and CEO, Mark T. Bertolini, said that the company suffered “a second-quarter pretax loss of $200 million and total pretax losses of more than $430 million since January 2014 in our individual products.”
Aetna reports huge financial losses under Obamacare
Of the 11 million Americans covered under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, 838,000 were Aetna customers, according to data compiled in June. Aetna is the third large insurer to scale back services under Obamacare.
UnitedHealth Group said it will also exit most exchanges next year, after it too suffered huge losses to the tune of $1 billion in 2015 and 2016. And Humana Inc., which covers about 800,000 people, will leave an estimated 1,200 counties in eight states in 2017.
Aetna stated that it will reconsider entering the market in the future, but for now plans to limit its services.
“We will continue to evaluate our participation in individual public exchanges while gaining additional insight from the counties where we will maintain our presence, and may expand our footprint in the future should there be meaningful exchange-related policy improvements,” said Bertolini.
Government: Just raise the premiums and you’ll be fine
The Obama administration says it’s the insurance companies’ own fault for losing money because they set their premiums too low, adding that despite major scale backs from insurers, the system will continue to provide good quality coverage to many.
“Aetna’s decision to alter its Marketplace participation does not change the fundamental fact that the Health Insurance Marketplace will continue to bring quality coverage to millions of Americans next year and every year after that,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of HealthCare.gov.
Customers who are now forced to obtain insurance or pay a hefty fine that grows more costly over time are being left in a difficult position. Americans are essentially stuck between a rock and hard place, either losing coverage entirely, or having to cough up money for a plan they can’t afford.
“Something has to give,” said Larry Levitt, a healthcare law expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Either insurers will drop out or insurers will raise premiums.”
Is a healthcare collapse on the horizon?
Others question whether a healthcare collapse may be on the horizon. “While analysts expect the market to stabilize once premiums rise and more young, healthy people sign up, some observers have not ruled out the possibility of a collapse of the market, known in insurance parlance as a ‘death spiral,'” reports The Hill.
A March report published by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, said that new enrollees under Obamacare experienced 22 percent higher medical costs than people with coverage through their employer. The report drew immense controversy, highlighting the disaster that Obamacare has become.
Last year, a top doctor issued a dire warning about the possibility of a “catastrophic collapse” of the U.S. healthcare system. The former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons said that the result “will leave Americans clamoring for medical attention, medical supplies and hospital care,” according to WND.
“Catastrophic collapse due to a ‘doctor death spiral’ will occur when we drop below a critical number of practicing physicians,” said Dr. Lee Hieb, a practicing orthopedic surgeon and author of Surviving the Medical Meltdown.
“As our population ages, it requires more physician man-hours of medical care. But as our population ages, so too do our physicians. More than half of the surgeons who cover emergency rooms are over 50.
“And although they are some of the most productive physicians, they are being overloaded and overstressed, and are beginning to burn out. Many are retiring early; others are dramatically reducing their patient loads.
“Recent surveys suggest up to 60 percent of physicians are preparing to do one or the other within two years,” said Hieb.