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Predicting which Texas insurance carrier might enter Tennessee

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New insurer could change state dynamic

Tennessee’s individual insurance market has hit a rough patch over the last few years, as BlueCross BlueShield left the Nashville market and UnitedHealthcare and Humana pulled out of the Affordable Care Act exchanges altogether. But reports that a new carrier might enter the state could change this dynamic.

The Tennessean recently reported that Tennessee’s insurance commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, said that a Texas health insurer was considering entering a metro Tennessee market in 2018. This news could give health insurance consumers in Nashville, Memphis or Chattanooga more choices than initially expected. 

McPeak declined to specify which carrier was considering Tennessee. Examining the carriers currently operating in Texas, we can make a few predictions.

First, there are several carriers we can rule out pretty easily. 

Process of elimination

Aetna and Humana have both said they won’t sell on any Affordable Care Act exchanges next year. It doesn’t seem like it can be BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, because BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is already the association’s license-holder in the state. 

Texas also has several insurers that only sell in the state. It is unlikely, though not impossible, that these carriers would enter another state. Even if they did, it is even more unlikely they would enter Tennessee, where most insurers have been losing money on sicker-than-expected marketplace enrollees. 

This article was originally published in The Tennessean.  If you enjoyed this post, you may like "What's next for the American Health Care Act?"

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