Aetion, the American insurer that sells health insurance to nearly all Americans, said Monday it will drop coverage for roughly 3 million employees, about 1 in 3 of its roughly 2.4 million employees.
“The announcement today was disappointing,” said Robert J. Jaffner, a senior vice president for global health at Aetax.
“Employees are often the most impacted by the cost of their health care.”
Aetax, which has roughly 17,000 employees, will no longer provide health insurance coverage to some of them as it seeks to reduce its overall costs, Jaffn said.
Employees who had been receiving coverage for coverage under Aetions Medicare and Medicaid plans will be able to keep the coverage under the new plan until the end of the year.
It also said it was removing from its health plan the health insurance that Aetana sells to some employees, and that it was reducing its other insurance coverage.
The announcement comes after Aetao, another American insurer, also announced it would drop its own health coverage and sell only Medicare and private plans through its network.
A few other major companies, including Anthem Inc., also have begun to pull their employees from their own health plans.
An Aetner spokesman declined to provide details of the affected plans.
Aetners chief executive, Robert L. Bierman, said the insurer would work with employees to “find ways to maintain the health and benefits of their employees and provide them with value-added value for our members.”
The American Health Care Association, an industry group, said last month that AETax was among several insurers offering plans that could not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act, which the insurers were required to comply with.
AETner, however, said it had made changes that it said were designed to help keep health coverage affordable for its customers.
“We’ve been able to create value for both the company and the members,” Biermann said.
“We’re working with the stakeholders to get there.”
In addition to lowering the number of employees who will lose coverage, Aetans plan also will cut its coverage for certain workers.
That includes people who have been employed for three years or more, have paid their medical bills for the past two years and who have paid all or part of a personal injury claim, the Aetany said.
AETax’s plans for its members and its insurance companies were developed in the late 1990s.
They were designed for individuals, and many employers also have policies that include those provisions.