Over the weekend, the New York Times posted data from the Kaiser Family Foundation painting a grim picture of the Obamacare exchange nationwide. According to the data, 45% of counties will have one or no provider available to them if another provider does not step in.
The reality is particularly challenging for Kentucky. Right now, 59 Kentucky counties (49%) only have one insurer available to them. According to analysts, that single insurer - Anthem, is expected to pull out of the marketplace in 2018. Just last week, the company announced that it would be pulling out of the exchange in Ohio, the first sign that a larger pull-out might be coming.
As noted by the Denver Post, "The insurer lost $374 million on its individual health plans last year, and is targeting a modest profit for 2017, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Anthem has the biggest financial risk tied to Obamacare among major insurers, with an estimated 8.6 percent of 2017 revenue coming from the individual market, according to Bloomberg Intelligence."
If no additional provider steps in to fill the void that Anthem would leave, which seems unlikely, CareSource would become the sole provider in 52 Kentucky counties, and 59 would be without a provider entirely. That means that without reforms, 92.5% of Kentucky counties are at risk of having one or zero providers on the exchange.