On Friday, August 11, 2017, Anthem announced that they will be exiting the individual health insurance exchange beginning in 2018. Anthem also announced they will only be offering off-exchange products in the Virginia counties of Washington, Scott and Bristol. What this means is that in the Northern Virginia area, Anthem will no longer be an option for individual health insurance coverage next year.

Anthem’s decision to exit the individual market was based on the instability and uncertainty surrounding the individual health insurance market. Planning and pricing for the Affordable Care Act-compliant plans is becoming increasingly difficult. A stable insurance market is dependent on products that create value for consumers through the broad spreading of risk and a known set of conditions upon which rates can be developed. These conditions do not exist for ACA-compliant individual health plans.

These changes do not impact the following Anthem members:

  • Members who receive health insurance from their employer
  • Members covered by a Medicare supplement or Advantage plan

Anthem will be mailing out correspondence to those individuals affected by the Anthem decision in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately, individuals will have limited options when it comes to purchasing health insurance in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In my opinion, employer-provided health insurance has become that much more valuable. Where we go from here remains to be seen.