Payers grappling with healthcare uncertainty

The entire healthcare industry is speculating on next steps following Republicans' decision to pull the American Health Care Act, and payers are no exception. The Wall Street Journal reports many payers are considering leaving the ACA exchanges in the wake of such uncertainty.

J. Mario Molina, MD, chief executive of Long Beach, Calif.-based Molina Healthcare, said the payer is contemplating leaving the ACA exchanges in 2018 as the company expects to see double-digit rate increases. He told WSJ, "There are still some big unknowns," including how and if subsidies will help low-income Americans pay their deductibles.

Payer executives are imploring legislators to take steps to stabilize the marketplace as many payers will fully exit the market if they do not receive money for cost-sharing subsidies, an S&P Global Ratings analyst told WSJ.

Many leading payers' stock fell following the news. Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna shares fell 2.25 percent on March 24. Indianapolis-based Anthem shares also took a dip, falling more than 1.5 percent that day. March 24th marked the company's lowest day this year since Feb. 17, 2017.

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