DENVER (CBS4) – A health insurance company is cutting back its offerings in Colorado. Aetna will stop selling all individual market health policies in the state. Now customers are forced to find a new insurance provider.
Not everyone likes surprises, and when a letter from Aetna arrived to Colorado’s Office of the Division of Insurance, it took them by surprise.
“Aetna is saying that they can’t service their customers in Colorado and be competitive,” Tom Abel with the Division of Insurance told CBS4.
So all 22,400 people enrolled in Aetna’s Individual Health Policy in Colorado will receive a letter this week informing them they will no longer have coverage and need to find a new carrier.
“Folks will have anywhere from 12 to 18 months to find other insurance,” Abel said.
There are lots of options in Colorado.
“There are at least 75 carriers out there providing coverage.”
Under state law Aetna now must sit out 5 years before re-entering the individual health market. Abel doesn’t think it will be the beginning of a trend.
“I really don’t see it as a trend. I haven’t been contacted by other insurance carriers.”
Abel says right now carriers want the business and in the next few years more individuals will be buying health insurance. So it seems Aetna would want to stay in the market. A lot of people want to know it’s related to the federal Health Care Reform Act.
“To my knowledge, it isn’t.”
Aetna has done it twice before in Colorado. In 2002 they got out of the Small Group Market for the same reason — they couldn’t remain competitive. They re-established themselves in the Small Group Market and pulled out again last year.
Even though people have a year to find a new carrier, they should start their search now. The Division of Insurance recommends working with insurance brokers to find the best policy.
Aetna is the 6th largest individual provider in Colorado with 4.29 percent of the market. Anthem is number one with 21.70 percent.
– Written by Jodi Brooks
Dora offers a lot of information with regard to Individual Health Providers in Colorado. Here are some helpful links: Dora’s website, Dora complaints
Link: Read the story from CBS4’s partners at the Denver Business Journal
(Watch an interview with Denver Business Journal’s Ed Sealover on Aetna’s decision)