Despite Recent Pullouts, ACA Healthcare in Virginia Looks Strong, For Now

May 8, 2017

Credit AP Photo / Andrew Harnik

Two of the health plans that offer coverage in the Affordable Care Act have announced they are pulling out. So where does that leave Virginia?

UnitedHealthcare and Aetna won’t be returning to the Virginia marketplace next year. But so far the other providers are standing strong; at least for now. Jill Hanken at the Virginia Poverty Law Center says the incentives built into the Affordable Care Act still work.

“There’s still a lot of money to be made in Virginia, and as long premium tax credits continue to help people buy their coverage, these health plans in Virginia can still do well and do good.”

But that could change in the next month as uncertainty mounts in Washington. Len Nichols at George Mason University says the various plans must be made available to the public in November, which means providers need to finalize their bids to regulators in the next month or so.

“We’re coming up on that last-minute deadline, and Congress is not really highly likely to finish the health-care debate in time. So that’s where the train is headed into the wall of a mountain.”

For now, the Affordable Care Act has yet to derail in Virginia. That’s because people in every part of the state — including remote rural areas — can still get subsidized health insurance. But those providers will be watching the Senate closely to see what happens in the next month.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from theVirginia Education Association.