- Associated Press - Friday, June 2, 2017

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The only potential choice for individual health insurance in Nebraska still hasn’t decided whether to offer plans next year that meet the Affordable Care Act’s standards.

The discussion about Medica Health’s plans for 2018 was triggered by an announcement Thursday that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska will drop its last two individual health plans that meet ACA standards. The standards include accepting all applicants and providing a wide range of health benefits, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/2qJcRgt ) reported.

Aetna Health also made the decision last month to discontinue offering plans in 2018 because of financial losses, which leaves Medica as the only ACA insurance option in the state.

Nebraska residents seeking insurance not connected to an employer or government-sponsored plan might not have options for ACA-compliant insurance if Medica pulls out of the individual health insurance market.

“Things are still changing daily,” said Geoff Bartsch, vice president for Medica’s individual and family business. “We’re still looking at changes and will continue to evaluate things. We are still planning to participate in the Nebraska market for 2018. We haven’t made any final decisions on that yet.”

The 12,500 people who were covered by Blue Cross’ two plans combined with about 50,000 people from Aetna would either have to be taken in by Medica or not have ACA-compliant insurance at all. Bartsch said Medica is strong enough financially to absorb those members.

“The marketplace has been difficult for the past few years with the ACA, but we feel good about where we are in 2017,” he said.

But he said it’s still too early to decide for 2018.

“There’s always the potential that someone in Congress does something that could change the landscape.”

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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