COLUMBUS - Nearly every Ohioan will have an option on the Obamacare health care exchange even after Anthem leaves.
Ohio Department of Insurance has worked with five insurers to cover 19 counties – and about 11,000 Ohioans – that would have been left without an option on the state's health care exchange next year. Concerned about uncertainty over the future of Obamacare, health care heavy-hitter Anthem and Dayton-based Premier Health Plan announced they would leave the exchange in 2018, leaving a fifth of the state's counties in the lurch.
Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Molina Health Care of Ohio and Paramount Health Care agreed to cover 19 counties, many of them rural, without a single plan. One county, Paulding in northwest Ohio, still does not have an option for 2018. Ohio officials are working to find that county an insurer.
In the state's other counties, Anthem and Premier's pullouts had limited, but not eliminated, insurance options on the Obamacare exchange.
State officials are reviewing the new plans that will be sold on the exchange. Insurers have until September to sign contracts with the federal government to sell on the exchange.
In the meantime, Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment is asking Washington to make her job a little easier.
“We will continue working with the industry, but those efforts are heavily dependent on market stability and clarity from Washington," Froment said in a statement. "We encourage Congress to work on ways to stabilize our health insurance markets.”