I think cancel is the wrong word here. Perhaps we should use the word discontinued. That’s more appropriate.

You’re not going to be able to keep your Molina health plan in 2018 because it’s not going to be available. They’re shutting down and leaving the great state of Utah. Their insurance plans are being discontinued.

You may have heard in the news.  Or you may have received a letter from Molina stating that your health plan is being discontinued and that you will need to shop for a new health plan for 2018.

First of all, there is nothing to worry about for the remainder of 2017. Your health plan isn’t changing this year.

You’re just going to have to pick a new plan for 2018 with one of the two remaining health carriers offering plans in Utah. Remember, Open Enrollment begins November 1st, and that’s where you’ll be able to shop plans and make your selection for 2018.

Of course, we can assist you with that.

Now, to answer a few of your questions.

I thought it was against the law for an Insurance Company to cancel my health insurance policy?

It is, kinda.

Well, yes, it is against the law for a health insurance company like Molina to single you out and cancel your policy because you’re using it too much or costing them too much money. They can’t do that.

They can’t cancel just your plan. But they can choose to withdraw from certain Counties or even the entire State. And that’s what they’re doing.

They are discontinuing their product. It’s sad for everyone, especially those who really loved that product.

Why did Molina discontinue health insurance in Utah?

Bottom line, they’re losing money in Utah. Molina is also pulling out of the Wisconsin market for the same reasons. How much are they loosing? Well, I don’t have specific numbers for just Utah, but they reported to have lost $230 million in the 2nd quarter of 2017. Now I don’t’ know about you, but I just can’t see how a company can lose that kind of money and not take drastic measure to change that around.

A significant portion of their losses are tied directly to the uncertainty around the cost sharing payments.

Why are they having a hard time competing?

I don’t think its a matter of having a hard time competing, as much as it is the great uncertainty that surrounds the individual and family market. With the emergence of the Federal Exchange there additional restrictions and requirements placed on all insurers. I think the insurance carriers in Utah have done a great job balancing those requirements and striving to keep the cost of insurance somewhat affordable (I know, how I can say that when we’ve seen prices jump 200-300% over the past few years?).

The primary areas where insurance companies are losing money are tied healthcare.gov.  Insurance plans cost the same for every client who purchases it (subject to household size and location). With the aid of healthcare.gov’s tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, insurance companies are providing that same coverage at a lower premium to the client, trusting that they difference will be reimbursed by the Federal Government.

That’s what was promised.

But when Congress has a major debate about funding those cost-sharing reductions, insurance companies get concerned. They are giving a significant reduction in premium to a large sector of clientele and that they could possibly get left holding an empty bag waiting for the government to come good on their promise. If Congress doesn’t approve their funding, they’re stuck with major losses that they most likely can’t sustain.

Will Molina offer health insurance in my area again?

I wish I could give a loud and certain YES.

But then I’d probably be speaking out of place. I can tell you as an Agency who works with Molina Healthcare, they were great to work with on the operations end of things. So I certainly hope they come back to Utah.

With the uncertainty back in Washington DC about funding issues with Tax Credit and Cost-Sharing Reductions, I don’t think any carriers are looking to jump into new markets at the moment.

To offer a glimmer of hope, Molina did state they are hoping to offer a limited number of plans in Utah off of the Federal Exchange. We’ll find out more come open enrollment on November 1st.

The Bottom Line

The times they are a changin’.  There is uncertainty, change, opposition and frustration surrounding the health insurance industry. Molina Healthcare leaving our market here in Utah is just one factor emphasizing this point.

So what does that mean for you? You’re going to have to find a new plan for 2018 from someone else. The good news is that you still have a choice. According to Jason Stevenson, spokesman for the Utah Health Policy, approximately 95% of all Utahns are expected to have a choice between at least 2 insurance companies in 2018.

Having a choice for your healthcare insurance company is a great thing.

Next Step

Let’s find out which insurance companies you can buy health insurance from in 2018 and what plan is going to be right for you!