Aetna's plan to avoid Obamacare for 1 more year

By getting its brokers to renew clients by year-end 2013, the insurer can put off the new mandates until nearly 2015.

By Aimee Picchi Apr 5, 2013 12:41PM

Person receiving a vaccine © Jeffrey Hamilton, Lifesize, Getty ImagesInsurance giant Aetna (AET) is urging its brokers to think ahead in order to avoid the mandates that will go into effect next year with Obamacare. 

Aetna is encouraging its brokers to use the "premium savings program," which would re-enroll clients at the end of 2013, carrying over into 2014 when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, reports the Huffington Post

"By electing a fourth quarter 2013 renewal, some of your clients can achieve significant cost savings in 2014 and take time to assess their business needs for the future, without sacrificing their current coverage today," Aetna wrote in an email to its brokers. 

Aetna's push to get clients to sidestep Obamacare comes amid research indicating that, for many, health-care premiums will rise in 2014. That's because underlying claims costs are projected to jump by one-third across the U.S. when the law goes into effect next year, as reported by MSN moneyNOW last month.

Some states will be hit harder than others, with the biggest increases seen Ohio and California, according to a study from the Society of Actuaries. Aetna flagged potential rate increases as one reason brokers should enroll their clients by the end of 2013. 

"In 2014, changes set in motion by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may lead to dramatic increases in premiums," the company said in the email. 

Other insurers are considering the strategy, which would take advantage of a loophole that lets health insurers re-enroll clients for almost all of 2014, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Insurers are onto this, and the big question is how many will try to game the system," Washington and Lee University law professor Timothy Stoltzfus Jost told the newspaper.

Aetna was among the health insurers that opposed the ACA, the Huffington Post notes, giving millions to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Action Network to fight against the legislation. 

More on moneyNOW

Apr 5, 2013 1:36PM

All of you that support O'bamacare please answer just one question.


When has ANYTHING the government touches been run with efficiency?


It will be no different this time.

Apr 5, 2013 1:36PM
What happened to the mantra from the pro Obamacare crowd that premiums would be going down?
Apr 5, 2013 2:07PM
How are homeless people, illegal immigrants or high school dropouts with no skills except for procreating going to contribute to Obamacare.  They won't . The disciplined and responsible citizens of this country will.   
Apr 5, 2013 1:25PM



So when do we want to demand that Health Insurance Companies are changed back to "NOT FOR PROFIT COMPANIES".  Prior to 1980 insurance companies and hospitals were NOT FOR PROFIT entities (our lives were not to be held out for a profit) and believe it or not life was good, dad was the bread winner, mom stayed home and raised the kids, etc., etc., etc..


When the Health Insurance Companies were NOT FOR PROFIT they were surprisingly quite successful.  Believe it or not, premiums were affordable, coverage covered everything (including mental health), pre-existing conditions were not an issue, doctors made house calls, companies could afford to provide health insurance to all employees either for free or for just pennies per month. 



Apr 5, 2013 1:44PM

I'm not sure how that's considered "gaming the system." If you knew that your water bill was going to increase by 40% or more, but could lock in your current rate for an extra year, wouldn't you?


The fact is, ObamaCare is going to raise costs. Period. Insurance companies and self-insured employers CAN'T just eat that cost and stay in business.


ObamaCare needs to be overhauled to address the real issues of rising medical costs: capping prescription drug costs, re-evaluating Medicare/Medicaid payouts, tort reform, etc. Simply redistributing who is going to pay is not going to reduce costs.

Apr 5, 2013 2:13PM

Wake up America, how many employers have you seen on here talk about cutting a majority of their full time employees hours so they will now be part-time so they don't have to get their employees expensive Obama Care Health Insurance. Well now everyone can get insurance and we all can help pay for it again. I hope you like him now. One of the worst presidents we ever had? So when is he going to start trying to create jobs and put people back to work instead of just working on his legacy Obama care. Nothing but broken promises and lies. Hope we can make it till the end of his term.


You thought Greece was bad, we are headed for the same, to many entitlements.

How fitting that California gets hit the hardest by ACA, seeing that it is the most liberal, serves it right.
Apr 5, 2013 2:30PM
Good for Aetna!

ObamaCare is a joke, unfortunately people are only now finding that out after it was rammed down our throats!

Rampant abuse can be expected.  Dead beat scum bags will continue to choke hospitals while they get attention for drug abuse and other self inflicted poor choices.

Tax payers will be screwed royally!
Apr 5, 2013 2:11PM

I just fell off of my chair laughing. If you think we are in trouble now weight unitl this mess kicks in. It looks like less coverage for more money.

Apr 5, 2013 2:57PM
where is that $2500 reduction in premiums that liar obama promised?  he, and the three wicked witches of the west (pelosi, finestein, and boxer), on their brooms, should be run out of the country.  what a mess!  
Apr 5, 2013 2:45PM
So the affordable care act makes insurance unaffordable?  Who'da thunk?
Apr 5, 2013 1:59PM

I would wish for the premiums to eventually level off and go down, but ....that never happens.


IF there is any money 'left over' in the health insurance part, the gov't will 'borrow' it just like they did for Social Security -


My choices in about 10 years are home or food, but I'm fully insured...or no insurance, but I got a place to live and I'll just not eat to pay the tax for not carrying insurance I can't afford....

Apr 5, 2013 2:48PM
Isn't this supposed to reduce healthcare costs and save us money?
Apr 5, 2013 2:27PM
How long before we have to give poor people dental care and wipe their a$$es for them too?
Apr 5, 2013 3:00PM
The biggest increases in California and Ohio.....good. They supported Obama they deserve it,in fact every state Obama carried should pay for everyones increases.
Apr 5, 2013 2:45PM
the braindead drones who support this crap are the 47%ers who pay nothing to begin with...they won't even acknowledge Obamadon'tcare's B.S. line "saving the $2500 per year, per family" .  are we above 40% of the workforce being gov't employees?  they aren't even on obamacare and if they are, we pay for their ins. and any cost increases...costs them nothing so they continue to ignore reality and keep voting for the dregs in congress and the white house.  the gov't is so huge that socialism is inevitible.
Apr 5, 2013 2:40PM
Kudos to Aetna but in the end they will fall like all other people in the health insurance business. In the end it will be Uncle Sam only and costs and taxes will be thru the roof with quallity of care going the other way. Fraud will be rampant just as in Medicare.
Apr 5, 2013 2:47PM
The government needs to be stopped. The Framers put the government in place to legislate, not dictate for it was a dictatorship they were looking to escape. Now let's not be naive and believe their intentions were entirely honorable. I'm certain 250+ years ago people had their own best interests at the forefront of their reasoning for doing anything just as those in power do today, however, now the ills of corruption are falling upon us and not people and ancestry that we've never met. To think the people ever had the power is to be foolish, however, there is strength in numbers and if we, collectively, decide we want change there can be change. I think I fall into the majority when I simply indicate that 'i don't know where to begin'. All of these radio pundits, both right and left wing, tell us what we need to do and then they collect their checks and go back into their million dollar homes. There needs to be a tangible movement against injustice, not just rhetoric. Rhetoric about all kinds of 'isms' that we are being oppressed by. If someone tells me where to begin that's where I'll start. I have a family so I have a vested interest in our future.
Apr 5, 2013 2:06PM

The costs of healthcare goes up because we allow the insurance companies and lawyers to be greedy, and congress gets lots of money from industry lobbists to help fuel the fire.


If we completely did away with insurance companies and frivolous law suits the costs of healthcare would decrease substantially.


What everybody either doesn't understand or doesn't know is that we (the tax paying citizens) already pay for everyones healthcare.  If someone goes to the ER for services and can't afford to pay the bill or has no insurance who do you think pays the bill?  The tax payer!  So since we do this anyway does it not seem fair that the ones that do not have some form of health insurance coverage aid in paying the system back?


We as humans put to much stock in BS propaganda that is put out to scare us of the unknown and don't bother to find out the facts for ourselves.

Apr 5, 2013 3:18PM
ah, "let's pass it so we find out what's in it" (Pelosi).  remember?  well, now we're finding out what's in it, alright.
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