Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield officials said on Wednesday the company will no longer offer health insurance plans in 61 counties in Kentucky in 2018.
Anthem Public Relations Director Mark Robinson said the decision to scale back in Kentucky is based on a continuation of “market place uncertainties.”
He said Anthem will not offer on- and off- exchange plans and individual market plans in Kentucky counties that account for less than one-percent of the company’s membership. The health insurance provider is pulling out of counties primarily in central and east Kentucky.
Anthem would sell plans in 59 counties (including the WKMS coverage area in west Kentucky) while CareSource would serve 61 counties. The decision leaves each Kentucky county in with only one insurance provider on Kentucky's health exchange.
Company officials say planning and pricing plans on the exchange become increasingly difficult because of the deteriorating individual market and "uncertainty in federal operations."
Anthem had initially filed to offer on-exchange services in all 120 counties, according to Robinson. He said, "At that time we noted that if market place uncertainties continued, principally cost sharing reduction subsidy funding, that we may feel it necessary to revise our footprint." He noted scaling back was a "difficult decision" but later added that the reduced coverage area will allow Anthem to "offer a sustainable plan" in the remaining counties.
(See current national county-by-county map of health care providers, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
Kentucky participates in the federal health exchange healthcare.gov. People can purchase subsidized insurance plans on the exchange if they meet certain income requirements.
Anthem will not offer plans for the following counties in 2018: