AETNA: Will Pull Out of Medicare HMO Market
Aetna Inc., the nation's largest health insurer, announced plans to exit the Medicare HMO insurance market in several cities next year, cutting a "substantial" number of its 670,000 seniors from membership rolls, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The company will reveal which cities it will leave on July 1; affected areas will include primarily the Northeast, Texas and California. The move follows a two-year trend among the country's biggest HMOs, which argue that low federal reimbursements are forcing them to curtail their Medicare businesses. Since 1999, more than 700,000 seniors were forced to find different coverage. Last year, 62,000 Aetna Medicare members had to find a new plan or return to the traditional Medicare program. This year, another 1,700 beneficiaries were displaced (Galewitz, 4/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.