Obamacare Implosion: Last Major Healthcare Provider Pulls Out Of Iowa Leaving No Options In 2018

Tyler Durden's picture

For the past several months we've observed in complete amazement as Democrats have repeatedly hailed the 'great accomplishments' of Obamacare while the system was literally, and quite tangibly, collapsing in epic fashion all around them.  The ability to blindly and shamelessly support a partisan cause irrestpective of overwhelming facts proving the ineffectiveness of that cause is truly a talent reserved only for politicians, on both sides of the aisle.

The latest evidence of Obamacare's implosion comes from its stunning collapse in the state of Iowa in just a matter of a few weeks.  Early last month, 2 of Iowa's 3 remaining healthcare providers, Aetna and Wellmark, announced they would not participate in the state's exchange in 2018.  Per Bloomberg:

“Earlier today we informed the appropriate federal and state regulators that Aetna will not participate in the Iowa individual public exchange for 2018 as a result of financial risk and an uncertain outlook for the marketplace,” Aetna spokesman T.J. Crawford said in an email. “We are still evaluating Aetna’s 2018 individual product presence in our remaining states.”

On Monday, Wellmark Inc. said it planned to give up on the Iowa Obamacare market in 2018. Wellmark is one of the state’s largest insurers.



Those decisions left the overwhelming majority of Iowans with just one insurance option for 2018, Medica.  That is, until today when Medica also announced that, "due to instability in the market," they too would likely have to pull out of Iowa in 2018.  Per the Des Moines Register:

Medica, a Minnesota based health insurer, released a statement suggesting it was close to following two larger carriers in deciding not to sell such policies in Iowa for 2018, due to instability in the market.


“Without swift action by the state or Congress to provide stability to Iowa’s individual insurance market, Medica will not be able to serve the citizens of Iowa in the manner and breadth that we do today. We are examining the potential of limited offerings, but our ability to stay in the Iowa insurance market in any capacity is in question at this point,” the company’s statement said.

Medica's exit is expected to leave roughly 70,000 Iowans without a single option to purchase a personal health insurance policy in 2018, even if they wanted to.  Unless a replacement carrier is found, the change also means moderate-income Iowans in most counties will not be able to use Affordable Care Act subsidies to help pay premiums for private insurance.

Medica is a relatively small carrier, which faced a daunting prospect in Iowa after Aetna and Wellmark announced they would no longer sell individual health insurance plans there. The two large carriers announced they had lost tens of millions of dollars in Iowa, largely because they covered too many older Iowans with chronic health problems and not enough young, healthy people. If Medica remains in the market, it would face the prospect of shouldering all of that risk by itself.

Of course, all of this should come as little surprise to our readers as we've been writing for years that the entire Obamacare system was on the "verge of collapse" as premiums were soaring, risk pools were deteriorating and insurers were pulling out of exchanges all around the country leaving many Americans with just a single 'option' for health insurance (see "Obamacare On "Verge Of Collapse" As Premiums Set To Soar Again In 2017").  In fact, the following charts provide a stunning illustration of that collapse (charts per Bloomberg):



Unfortunately, things are likely to get even worse in 2018, even if Trump leaves subsidies in place.  Humana has already announced they won't offer marketplace plans in 2018, a move which will result in 1,000s of people in Tennessee not having a single health insurance option starting 1/1/18.


Meanwhile, Anthem has also signaled they may exit all exchanges next year as well which would leave another 250,000 consumers with no health insurance options.


But sure, Republicans are trying to 'ruin' healthcare in America.

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D Nyle's picture

Its not a right either, its not in the Constitution

PrayingMantis's picture

... if the word "affordable" is used on any .gov bill, it's guaranteed to be the opposite ...

tmosley's picture

The peanutz will scream that this will all be blamed on Trump.

Giant Meteor's picture

Well he of course took credit for the super nova bubble market, his guy, Mnuckin just publicly stated, you can thank me for the meteoric rise in equities market, so you know, best guess on this one, he has it comin ..

The implosion I mean .. Blamed for the implosion ..

FireBrander's picture

The insurers are pulling out because THEY WANT MORE GOVERNMENT DOLLARS!

The ROOT of the problem is the COST OF CARE....IT IS NOT...THE COST OF INSURANCE....and ALLL of these motherfucking insurance companies are in DC Lobbying for MORE FEDERAL MONEY to "Make Insurance Affordable"!


economessed's picture

It's always been about the cost of care.  We pay 2x more for care that is 1/2 as good as the rest of the world.  We train foreign doctors at our universities, who return to their countries and replace knees for $2,300.  You can't occupy a bed overnight in a hospital "under observation" for under $4,000 these days.

RAT005's picture

The insurance provider is NOT the health care provider.

nmewn's picture

You could tell the progs that (and I have) until the end of time but it seems their brains aren't capable of understanding that or they just prefer to obfuscate the facts.

I think its the latter ;-)

Expat's picture

Amazing that some dickhead gave you even one downvote.  It's a demonstration of just how fucking stupid and ignorant Americans are.  You explain something in simple terms.  You provide simple facts.  But these facts go against their (limited)preconceived notions, so they downvote.

I think you should have said something like "Thank God Trump is going to fix all this!".  That would have given you more upvotes.

nmewn's picture

Obama, Reid & Pelosi already "fixed it". 

We're just waiting for the flames to burn out so we can collect the remains and notify the next of kin.

Giant Meteor's picture

No doubt, but aside from printing more 1's and 0's , ummmm the "government" (snicker, we the people) are a bunch of broke ass mother fuckers, dealing with failing metrics at every level, completely jury rigged, gamed statistics, and it appears that these, as well as the other popular narratives (lies) of the day, are falling apart in this, our globally daisy chained linked priism clustefuck that was never "resolved" in the 2008 "Global Financial Crisis" , in which tanks were threatened in all the land by morning, IF said motherfuckers were not "bailed out."

And bailed out they were! To continue defrauding, the American public, with the keen assistance of our dedicated "public servants" of BOTH political persuasion's, you know, those inside trading, double dealing, low down gutter snakes, that take the oath to defend the great nation, so help them God. Scouts honor even ...

See ya in camp FEMA , !


post turtle saver's picture

well congratulations... let's build a monument to the guy...


sheikurbootie's picture

We all knew it was a bad idea....the democrats knew better?

Boris Gudonov's picture

Well, as we all know, to the liberal mind this just proves that we need EVEN MOAR GUVVERMINT!  Because what works better than putting the guvvermint in charge? 

LN's picture

Idiocracy the documentary, required viewing to understand where we are.


Giant Meteor's picture

Things are falling apart fast, and bigly ..

These black swans, circling overhead like ever present, ordinary buzzards, are looking for road kill, need feeding ...

Archibald Buttle's picture

time to transfer your savings to the bank of sealy? take a few days off of work to do some boating? 

Stormtrooper's picture

Get government out of healthcare/pharma.  Allow more free market competition.  Graduate more doctors.  Kill the lawyers.  Consumers will make the system work.

spanish inquisition's picture

At least they will still have the tax penalty.

RAT005's picture

You don't have to pay the penalty.  it is not enforceable.

spanish inquisition's picture

But they are still keeping a record of it as if it is owed. What happens 4 years down the road if the government needs cash?

Rich Stoehner's picture

You might not have to pay the pentalies but you prolly won't be getting a return if you don't.

Cluster_Frak's picture

companies no longer must comply with affirmative action. they will gladly collect your tax dollars though. Don't you hate when a nigger outsmarts white folk.

Osmium's picture

So Fkn Bullish.  Should add another 200 Points to the DOW tomorrow.

One And Only's picture

The concept of all insurance is immoral and a scam and has led to fiscal problems for countries and most financial panics through out all of modern history.

Why can't we make insurance illegal? What would happen? Oh my god...prices would fall in line with what people could actually pay? Holy fucking shit, what a revolutionary concept! 

I know it's a new concept for most people reading this and new concepts scare the shit out of people but look at what caused health insurance to become unaffordable to Americams. Medicaid and Medicare! INSURANCE for OLD and POOR people. Those 2 programs were the catalyst for the prices getting fucked up. Look at a chart of health care prices since those programs started and tell me I'm wrong.

Archibald Buttle's picture

spot on. its why we keep our old and poor people sick. more digital FRNs for INSURANCE. one of these days, the fuckers will legislate that auto insurance cover wiper blades and gasoline. cost plus contracts never work. well, i guess they work for the usual few as always.

PoBoySammich's picture

Today after having a long 2 hr plus conversation with my 11 year old he looks at me and says with a puzzled face " why do we even have a president then". I've never been so proud. Make sure you unlearn that "education" they are supposedly getting. I allowed him to change his mind or argue his points on the border, our govt, etc. The look on his face when he realized how useless our president should be according to our constitution is priceless.

lasvegaspersona's picture

NV Health Co-Op went BK and owed me $30,000 when they folded. This entire Obamacare program was a scam. They never understood how to run anything (the website!). The country would be better off with government out of healthcare...but politicians cannot resist the 'taste' they get with all that money just flowing by.

Ace006's picture

No sacrifice is too great in order for us to have socialized, unconstitutional federal health care.

Pollygotacracker's picture

As long as insurance companies are mandated to cover pre-existing conditions, we are all screwed as far as affordable healthcare is concerned. Stay healthy, my friends.

economessed's picture

Even Cuba can do health care better than America.  The politicians have ruined EVERYTHING.  Absolutely everything they get involved with gets worse and worse.

gregga777's picture

The political parasites are just acting according the commands of their owners, the Oligarchs, banking gangsters, CON Street Swindlers and Criminal Crony Capitalist CONporations.  The political parasites are bought and paid for puppets of the Intellectual Yet Idiot classes ruling morons.  Thankfully they exempt themselves from having to be subjected to the same laws that we have to follow.  The whole lot of miserable scumbag fucks should have their heads exempted from their bodies by Madame Guillotine.



Giant Meteor's picture

This is the correct analysis ..

See, all kidding aside, these actor's and actresses, are metaphor's of a crumbing empire .. they are poster children, the destruction of a once proud republic. By the swamp, for the swamp, so help me ... swamp.

At this point in Amercan history, to drain the swamp, would entail the total reset, tantemount to burning everything down to the waterline. Obviously that would have some fairly serious "ramifications."

Ever wonder HOW the open air theft and daily corruption reports are not even bothered to be hidden? Because as many of them have gone on record and stated in clear, and no uncertain terms, TINA, There Is No Alternative ..

And for them, they are correct. They understand to drain the swamp, is to end themselves, and rather than ever allow THAT to happen, why they would sooner "blow up the world" and take everyone else with them.

I say, those are some pretty hefty "stakes."

Archibald Buttle's picture

obviously, we are approching the point where whoever is pulling the strings is starting to have a more difficult time controlling the puppets. i hope that some cutting corners to increase puppetmaster, inc. profits led to the string being of substandard quality.

Ace006's picture

I always hear about the wondrous Cuban health care system. Just once before I die I'd like to see a photo of even ONE of those super duper clinics.

I did see a pic of some place purporting to be a clinic for the people but it was so dirty it couldn't have been a real clinic.

DaveA's picture

This is deja vu for the people of Tennessee. They established a similar system in 1994 called TennCare, where the state would subsidize private insurance. The number of enrollees was vastly larger than expected. Then two of the seven private insurers suddenly went bankrupt, leaving millions of dollars worth of unpaid medical bills.

Even though Medicaid absorbed much of the additional cost, this program was such a drain on the state budget that in late 2000 the governor and legislature convened a special secret session to pass an income tax. Voters revolted and laid siege to the state house, trapping the legislators until they repealed the tax. With that, TennCare was forced to immediately drop half its enrollees.

ebworthen's picture

The Kleptoligarchy rolls on!

Get back to work Serfs!

San Pedro's picture

Pre-existing Conditions and Illegal Aliens are collapsing obama no care. It was only ment to last as long as the obama was in office. You don't get what you pay for with fake medical coverage.

cheech_wizard's picture

The Republicans should just toss up their hands and let it collapse, all the while pointing their fingers at the remaining Democrats in Congress that voted for Obamacare. Those Democrats no longer in office need to be hunted down and tarred and feathered.



Archibald Buttle's picture

it makes so much sense, only a member of congress wouldn't get it.

Stan Smith's picture

There's nothing surprising about this.   While Im all for Obamacare going away,  I think simply allowing it to happen organically will help us get closer to getting the government out of health care (at least to some degree, it will never be all the way out).

If O'care simply would have let the costs be borne by those who are actually driving the costs (Seniors and sick folks), this wouldnt be an issue.    But by only allowing these same folks to only pay 3x what a healthy person pays -- even though their costs are probably 10x (or even more) what healthy folks pay -- was economic suicide.   


Archibald Buttle's picture

it will repeal itself if left alone. unfortunately i suspect a replacement will materialize overnight, with bipartisan support, to save us from some sort of healthcare cliff or whatnot.

Expat's picture

I gleefully wish some horrible disease on all the anti-healthcare posters here.  May your children be struck with cancer.  May your wives develop some horrible skin disorder.  May you become paralyzed in both legs and in agony from some unknown cause.  And may you spend every last penny getting treatment until you are forced to sell your house, your car, and pimp our your seventeen year old daughter (and son) to pay the bills.

Meanwhile in the fascist, Al Qaeda-loving, commie, third world of Europe, we stroll down to the hospital and get all that covered for "free".  Sure, we pay social taxes but the cost is still half of what Americans pay, the service is great, and we will NEVER lose our homes or savings from being ill.

American Exceptionalism is apparently being exceptionally stupid.  But I knew that already.

blargg's picture

Who the hell is against the free market providing health care?

Indelible Scars's picture

Yeah, but we actually have Doctors here.

the late idi armin's picture

or rather go down to the hospital to get your name put down on a list to be treated. eventually.

Last of the Middle Class's picture

Last i saw, implosion is about a million times more desirable than RINO care, which is nothing but refunding the already dead beast. It will all lead to single payer where the government pays for all health care and all claims go through insurance companies for their share. Kind of like the "handling" part of shipping and handling except billions are involved.

Paracelsus's picture

More Doctors and fewer lawyers. Gov't subsidies have to be

vetted. But then look at the Defense industry, lots of checks and 

balances there too.