Molina to return to Wisconsin Obamacare marketplace in 2019


Molina Healthcare, which pulled out of the Obamacare individual exchange in Wisconsin this year, will resume selling products on the marketplace in 2019, Gov. Scott Walker announced today.


In a letter posted by Walker on Twitter, Molina Healthcare of Wisconsin plan president Scott Johnson said the insurer has filed rates with the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance for 2019 marketplace products, following the one-year hiatus.

The federal government recently approved Walker’s request to operate a state-based reinsurance plan aimed at holding down premiums for people in the state’s individual market and draw more insurers to the marketplace in 2019.

Under the plan, the reinsurance program will pay insurers about 50 percent of the costs for individuals with medical expenses between $50,000 and $250,000. Following a 44 percent average spike in Obamacare premiums this year, Walker’s office estimates the $200 million program would lower premiums by 11 percent from what they otherwise would have been, amounting to a 5 percent decrease in premiums compared to 2018.

The state will pay $34 million for reinsurance in 2019, while $166 million would come from federal funds.

Johnson cited Wisconsin’s reinsurance program as a driving factor in Molina’s decision to return to the marketplace.

Molina Healthcare, which is based in Long Beach, California, announced its plans to drop out of both the Wisconsin and Utah marketplaces for 2018 amid a second-quarter 2017 net loss of $230 million and plans to layoff 1,500 nationwide. The company’s restructuring plan resulted in 53 employees being laid off at Molina’s Milwaukee office in October.

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