Struggles: The Number of Health Plans Under DC Obamacare Exchange Have Now Been Slashed in Half

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Jul 13, 2015 10:00 AM
Struggles: The Number of Health Plans Under DC Obamacare Exchange Have Now Been Slashed in Half

Aetna Life Insurance has been sending some unfriendly letters to residents in Washington, D.C. In their mailbox are notes informing them that they may be losing the plans they purchased through the D.C. Health Link.

Individuals seeking PPO plans will now have only one choice. Oh, and they can expect to reach further in their pockets for that limited option.

The company’s decision will leave the region’s dominant insurance carrier, CareFirst, as the only one offering PPO plans. CareFirst has proposed rate increases for those plans ranging from less than 3 percent to more than 17 percent. Industry analysts characterized those increases as moderate, given an average increase of about 7 percent expected nationwide.

These unwanted changes bring the number of health plans on the D.C. exchange to a total of 162. That, reports the Washington Post, is about half the number provided when the program began.

Many would consider this a failure. Not D.C. exchange director, Mila Kofman.

“When you have products when there’s not a whole lot of interest to buy, that’s the market telling the carrier what they are selling, people can’t afford. So in terms of competition, it’s not a loss,” she said. “I don’t consider that real competition.”

Kofman's denial of reality falls in line with those higher in the Obamacare totem pole. President Obama has repeatedly touted his health care legislation “success,” beaming that millions now have health insurance, while failing to acknowledge the millions more who face higher health care costs or have even lost their preferred plans thanks to the law. Nevertheless…

“Every prediction they made about it turned out to be wrong. It's working better than even I expected.”

Uh huh.

Washington, D.C. isn’t the only region that has been faced with unsustainable exchange programs. A few other examples include Maryland, (glitch city), Hawaii (200 million taxpayer dollars wasted), and Oregon ($300 million on a web portal that enrolled no one.)

Obamacare’s poor track record doesn’t seem to be slowing down – even in the president's own backyard.