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Arizonans left with fewer options as major health care insurers pull out

Despite gains under Obamacare, roughly 800, 000 Arizonans do not have health care coverage. Insurance companies are tweaking policies in an effort to get those people to enroll.

PHOENIX — The picture of health care is changing, and it’s not looking so pretty for consumers.

The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, has been in place for a couple of years, and now the number of insurance companies that still want to participate is dwindling. Some of the health insurance companies that had been offering plans in Arizona under the Affordable Care Act are pulling out.

United Healthcare and Humana say they are getting out of the Obamacare marketplace next year because of financial losses, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is the only insurer selling Obamacare policies in all Arizona counties.

“Between 75 and 80 percent of folks out there typically never hit their deductible when you’re on a high deductible plan, and essentially you are a cash pay customer or pay-as-you-go when you see a provider,” said David Slepak of SingleCare, a company that describes itself as an online retail marketplace of health care products and services.

Slepak said the industry is moving toward a pay-as-you-go model.

“It’s no different than when you buy car insurance. You don’t expect State Farm to pay for your oil changes and tire rotations,” Slepak said. “You expect them to pay when you get in a major accident and wreck your car or your car gets stolen.”

Slepak said the insurance options available to Arizona residents are becoming significantly reduced and the health care insurance industry seems to be headed in a new direction.

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