Anthem dropping Healthcare Marketplace plans in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Anthem, the largest healthcare provider in Virginia, announced Friday that they will no longer offer individual health insurance plans through the Healthcare Marketplace in the state.

This comes after two other major insurers, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, both pulled out of the state.

Healthcare Marketplace opponents and proponents both spoke out publicly about the company’s decision.

Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell said that the announcement proves that the Healthcare Marketplace is failing.

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker of the House, William J. Howell, R-Stafford

“Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced, that much is clear. Obamacare is hurting more people than it is helping, forcing Americans to buy insurance they don’t like, don’t need and cannot afford,” Del. Howell said.

Other Virginia politicians offered a different take.

US Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine released a joint statement in which they blamed the company’s decision on the uncertainty in the marketplace caused by the Trump Administration.

“As a result of the uncertainty, mixed signals and deliberate sabotage from the Trump Administration, some insurers will raise premiums and scale back their health insurance offerings in the individual market, which serves more than 400,000 people in Virginia. It is unfortunate that others, such as Anthem, are choosing to leave the marketplace altogether.”

Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement that as a result of the decision, more than 200,000 Virginians — approximately half the number of residents who purchase insurance on the exchange — will be losing their coverage.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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