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Sen. Bernie Sanders among senators demanding answers from Aetna about ACA withdrawal — 6 takeaways

A group of senators sent a letter to Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini asking for an explanation as to why the payer exited many Affordable Care Act exchanges, according to The Huffington Post.

Here are six takeaways:

1. Senators seeking answers from the payer include Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Sherrod Brown and Bill Nelson.

2. Aetna claimed the Department of Justice's review of its Humana merger attributed to the payer's marketplace withdrawal, yet the senators say this is not a sufficient enough reason to exit.

3. Last month, Aetna reported it was leaving 11 ACA exchanges after offering plans in 15 exchanges this year.  Aetna has previously said it anticipates losses totaling $300 million on these state exchanges.

4. Following the news, The Huffington Post got access to a letter in which Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told federal officials in July that the company would exit the ACA exchanges if officials made moves to block the million-dollar deal. Mr. Bertolini wrote the letter 16 days before the DOJ filed suits against the Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna mergers.

5. In the letter to Mr. Bertolini, the senators doubted Aetna was surprised by the DOJ lawsuit as many industry experts and even the DOJ indicated the agency would challenge the merger due to its negative impact on competition.

6. To conclude the letter, the senators asked Mr. Bertolini a series of questions and demanded a response by Sept. 15.

More articles on coding & billing:
CMS investigation puts halt on Cigna enrolling customers in private Medicare plans: 4 highlights
Molina to support HHS' efforts to improve marketplace benefit and payment parameters: 3 things to know
Connecticut's individual and small rate plans to see sharp price increase: 6 takeaways

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