Humana’s Obamacare Enrollments Plummet In 2017

Sarah Hurtubise | Reporter

The amount of Obamacare customers with Humana health care plans dropped by almost 70 percent this month, the insurer said Wednesday.

Between December and January, the number of customers with Humana health insurance from federal or state Obamacare exchanges plunged from 404,000 to 152,000, the company announced. Humana, in the midst of a legal battle over a proposed merger with insurance giant Aetna, has lost money during its participation in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces and lowered the number of plans it offers on the exchanges in 2017.

After offering health coverage to customers through Obamacare exchanges in 15 states in 2016, Humana announced in 2016 it would limit its participation to just 11 states this year. (RELATED: Humana Considers Pulling Out Of Obamacare)

The company announced a huge net loss of $401 million for its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday. The loss was expected after Humana revealed in December that it would write off a $583 million loss from the federal government over Obamacare losses, Modern Healthcare reported.

An important part in bringing insurers to the table in Obamacare exchanges was the promise of risk corridor payments, which would redistribute earnings from insurance companies on the exchanges by redirecting payments toward from more profitable insurers to those with an especially sick — and expensive to insure — customer base.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found in 2015 that no insurers had high enough earnings to recoup others’ losses, leaving Humana in the red for 2016. (RELATED: Republicans Push To Block Obamacare Bailouts)

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