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Health Tradition Health Plan will quit offering individual policies and pull the plug on another program next year.

The policies apparently are casualties in the stalled Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which the GOP has tried to repeal or significantly revise more than 60 times since it was enacted almost eight years ago.

Health Tradition, Mayo Clinic Health System’s insurance plan, will halt individual coverage Dec. 31 and will not write small employer group health plans under the ACA’s Small Business Health Options Program next year, according to a news release.

The number of people affected could not be determined Monday because no Health Tradition representatives were available for comment, according to a spokesman for Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse.

The vast majority of people who have health insurance obtain it through their employers, while those whose employers don’t offer coverage and self-employed people seek individual plans from insurers in the ACA marketplace.

The Small Business Health Options Program, frequently described with the acronym SHOP, helps small businesses subsidize or pay for their workers’ premiums.

Health Tradition’s reasons for pulling out of the marketplace for the two options is not known, beyond a statement it issued saying, “Many national and regional health plan companies have exited the Exchange Marketplace over the past two years due to financial risk and uncertainty about the ACA’s future.

“Health Tradition Health Plan will concentrate on continuing to provide commercial insurance for Western Wisconsin-based employers, and will continue to provide coverage for individuals through 12/31/2017,” according to the statement.

Quartz, the health plan that the Gundersen Health Plan and Unity Health Plans Insurance Corp. affiliated with in March, also may be considering changes in its offerings, although Quartz officials were not available for comment Monday.

Quartz is a health plan services company headquartered in Sauk City, Wis., that administers the provider-sponsored health insurance plans, which Gundersen Health System and UW Health co-own.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare on Day One, if elected. So far, Trump has been unable to marshal Republican forces to accomplish that.

Polls show that up to 70 percent of Americans want to keep Obamacare and repair its flaws rather than repeal and replace it.

The Republican-led U.S. House passed the American Health Care Act in May, an occasion that GOP members celebrated with Trump on the White House lawn. The Congressional Budget Office later found that it would decrease federal deficits by $337 billion during the next decade but increase the number of uninsured by 24 million in 2026, compared with Obamacare.

Democrats and other critics have insisted that the AHCA amounts to tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

Trump has since labeled the House bill as “mean” and encouraged the Senate to pass more compassionate legislation.

Senate efforts to pass its own version of repeal and replace also have been stymied, in part because of criticisms similar to those about the House plan.

Friday, Trump suggested repealing Obamacare now and replacing it later.

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Reporter

Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

(38) comments

Cassandra

Here's more proof that the ACA haters of the world don't have a leg to stand on when they claim ObamaCare is "collapsing" or "in a death spiral." http://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/individual-insurance-market-performance-in-early-2017/?utm_campaign=KFF-2017-June-Insurer-Finances&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9u-WsoU9jCPmPR3tUu6mgGT39WZmZ6Q3HWSbdf6vQdCksfj4O6jR8CgOP4FrkKZlTKRy_Rp9KSr4FSL5wSpiDIFPMRDQ&_hsmi=2&utm_content=2&utm_source=hs_email&hsCtaTracking=658e7d38-48ff-4626-99d7-361c5d1aa5bf%7C584a9b13-00f1-43df-ba3e-0371755e0ea4

Cassandra

"...non-partisan data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstrate definitively that private insurance is increasingly less efficient than Medicare. The data show that Congress should examine and address the role that private insurance is playing in driving up overall health care costs." http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2011/09/20/medicare-is-more-efficient-than-private-insurance/

Redwall

Journalistic malpractice. Mayo should be pissed.

LaCrosseTaxPayer

No health insurance + more bankrupt cases = healthcare getting less money

Cassandra

No health insurance = more dead taxpayers. How many people are you willing to see dead, LaCrosseTaxPayer? Give us a number.

Redwall

10

Cassandra

Well then, you should be opposed to the republican plan because it will kill thousands more than that. And it shows the depths of your depravity that you would accept 10 people dying so that someone else can get richer.

Cassandra

Get the insurance companies out from in between doctors and patients. #singlepayernow

random annoying bozo

so you want to have government as the middle man between doctors and patients?

Buggs Raplin

Single payer would take the health insurance companies out of the mix. It would be doctor and patient without any influence from the parasites in the insurance companies. Everyone would be covered, regardless of pre-existing conditions. That Ron Kind and many Democrats oppose single-payer tells you where their true allegiance lies-not with the people, but the health insurance companies that help fund his campaign. Cassie, please condemn Ron Kind for his position on single-payer. If you liberals won't do it, then there's no hope.

kingman10

thats right, its all the democrats fault, especially Ron Kind. Put all your faith in the republicans, they will give better coverage for a lower price. Never mind the two plans the repubs already came out with, just go with what buggs says. Live in alt. fake reality and blame the party that is out of power. Makes perfect sense.

Buggs Raplin

You're right kingman; I left out the Republicans. I apologize. Both Democrats and Republicans stand in the way of single-payer. Ron Kind is one of those Democrats standing in the way.

random annoying bozo

single payer makes government the middle man....government would collect the premiums just like they now do with medicare, government would set what will be paid for a procedure or visit just like they now do with medicare....and guess what, with medicare, private insurance companies are a big part of the mix, medicare supplements are needed to help people pay all of the things medicare doesn't. and i'm sure the same thing would be needed with a so called 'single payer'.

plus with government involved, any money collected over and above costs will be squandered, just like government has done with social security and medicare, both heading towards insolvency.

Redwall

"Without any influence"? Just free and unlimited healthcare for all?

lostinparadize

How will it be paid for ? Will it be 80/20 like the current Medicare? Will we need a supplemental "insurance" (gasp! ) policy? Will we need a part D drug plan? Just curious as to your solution and payment options or are you all BS?

Redwall

Yes, lets put the DMV between the patient and doctor

mocha1

Trump may not have gotten the healthcare reform yet that he campaigned on but he has been very successful outing the extremely biased reporting of the liberal news outlets like the Tribune and CNN.

Cassandra

Yeah, biased toward reality and facts instead of "alternative facts".

random annoying bozo

there you go again tossing that word 'facts' around....you do that a lot, but i'll be darned if I have ever seen you offer up a fact....not even a teeny tiny one.

Cassandra

You're not paying attention. Must be too busy reading InfoWars.

LaCrosseCampers

"The policies apparently are casualties in the stalled Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act" -- really, APPARENTLY? How so, Mike? You said that Mayo was not available for comment, so how can you possibly blame this "apparently" on anything at all? Absolutely disgusting liberal-biased reporting.

Buggs Raplin

So true. So true.

Redwall

Again, the Fibune and its odd assortment of (or assortment of odd...) stringers find it impossible to deliver a straight news story without taking political positions.

The ACA marketplace has collapsed in Minnesota, a democratic state that has done everything in its power to make the ACA work...and it has failed.

Mayo's decision has nothing to do with any Republican policy, as said policies have not been implemented and are still being debated.

And so this action by Mayo only proves further Trump's prediction that the ACA is in a freefall and will die on its own.

The Mayo System has been dealt a great dis-service by the dolt that wrote this editorial posing as news.

Pathetic journalism.

Former Subscriber (Class of 2011)

TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls

Redwall--I am sure the Tribune loves that you troll them in a basement somewhere for hours as you post your ridiculous drivel here and read their ads more than anybody.

Surely the ACA is not perfect and there are some things that need to be tweaked.

The sickening willingness of the current administration to adversely impact many people (ironically supporters) by purposely sabatoging it is reprehensible. One example is this purposeful uncertainty at the FEDERAL level:

http://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/the-effects-of-ending-the-affordable-care-acts-cost-sharing-reduction-payments/

Redwall

ACA is great. Ask any Minnesotan.

Too bad you relocated to Minnesota to join the Free Stuff Army only to find the whole program go belly up.

spfhr

Not sure why they have to end service if they are getting subsidies.

Snow Cougar Mary Burke

This is the Obamacare death spiral that Republicans warned us about. Health Insurers are losing money on the exchanges. Insurance companies were early supporters of the ACA. They envisioned millions of healthy people forced to buy health insurance with higher premiums mandated by the law. The higher premiums were meant to off-set the lower premiums being paid for those with pre-existing conditions.
What the insurers failed to properly predict were the millions of healthy people who elected to not buy insurance; instead paying (or not paying) the penalty tax which was much lower than the premiums required. The insurers found themselves paying more for health care than they were receiving in premium income. Predictably, many insurers suffered significant financial losses; many have opted out of the health care business.

The penalty tax was to be used to help the Obamacare exchanges, but people could avoid paying this penalty by adjusting their federal withholding, so the IRS could not garnish the penalty from their returns. They then paid into the IRS what they owed minus the penalty.

kingman10

according to their brief statement: “Many national and regional health plan companies have exited the Exchange Marketplace over the past two years due to financial risk and uncertainty about the ACA’s future." The uncertainty of what the republicans are going to pass is causing the uncertainty. And again the article also said 70% of the people want the ACA fixed and not completely repealed. Its funny how the repubs say ACA is in a death spiral when they are one primarily causing it by their refusal to work with it, instead of against it. I doubt snow job's statement that insurers were actually losing money on the exchange. It more likely their profits were not large enough for them to want to continue in the exchange.

Redwall

The ACA is collapsing. Insurers are cutting their losses.

Obamacare failed.

Not sure if the Republicans can do any better.

yourewrong

Snow Cougar is usually a troll, but everything she said above it true, and you can see that with a little research. A lot (not all) of the big insurance companies are losing money, and same is probably true for smaller insurance companies. These companies have no incentive to keep losing money on the exchanges, so that's why you're seeing them pull out. It has nothing to do with uncertainty around what the Republicans are going to do

"UnitedHealth expects to lose $850 million on Obamacare in 2016, while Aetna, Anthem, and Humana are all on track to lose at least $300 million each on their ACA plans this year, according to company reports and estimates from Bloomberg Intelligence."

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-17/obamacare-s-in-trouble-as-insurers-tire-of-losing-money

Cassandra

You're wrong, yourewrong. http://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/individual-insurance-market-performance-in-early-2017/?utm_campaign=KFF-2017-June-Insurer-Finances&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9u-WsoU9jCPmPR3tUu6mgGT39WZmZ6Q3HWSbdf6vQdCksfj4O6jR8CgOP4FrkKZlTKRy_Rp9KSr4FSL5wSpiDIFPMRDQ&_hsmi=2&utm_content=2&utm_source=hs_email&hsCtaTracking=658e7d38-48ff-4626-99d7-361c5d1aa5bf%7C584a9b13-00f1-43df-ba3e-0371755e0ea4

Redwall

Unfortunately, the Fibune cannot field writers possessing any depth in matters of economics.

So sad.

Mayo made the mistake of allowing Fibune spell-checkers to write the article and make a political statement instead of straight news. Wholly inappropriate.

RemoteEmployee

Come out, come out, wherever you are! What kind of coverage do you have? Medicare? Medicaid? Your comments are sanctimonious at best and condescending at worst.

LAX

Blah, blah, blah...more baloney. You ought to make a sandwich out of it.

Cassandra

Cougar, how many people are you willing to see die for lack of health coverage so that the wealthy can get yet another tax break? Give us a number. We want to know the depths of your depravity.

lostinparadize

Wow ! You must have that comment on robo doc in your computer Cassie. All BS and no facts, not a one. Still waiting for your solutions and payment options. I'm not getting any younger. By the way, the number will vary from person to person, what's your number by the by ?

Cassandra

Seriously, Lost? The CBO has already put a number on how many people will die and how many will suffer because they won't have health care. You ignore the facts that are presented to you and then claim that the facts don't exist. So tell us the number--what is an acceptable number of deaths each year so that the rich can get another tax break?

Cassandra

More lies from the Russian fake news bot, Cougar. Here's the truth: http://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/individual-insurance-market-performance-in-early-2017/?utm_campaign=KFF-2017-June-Insurer-Finances&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9u-WsoU9jCPmPR3tUu6mgGT39WZmZ6Q3HWSbdf6vQdCksfj4O6jR8CgOP4FrkKZlTKRy_Rp9KSr4FSL5wSpiDIFPMRDQ&_hsmi=2&utm_content=2&utm_source=hs_email&hsCtaTracking=658e7d38-48ff-4626-99d7-361c5d1aa5bf%7C584a9b13-00f1-43df-ba3e-0371755e0ea4

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