Anthem Threatens to Leave Health Exchanges if Subsidies Are Halted

On Wednesday, Republican leaders were seeking to assure Democrats that the subsidies would continued to be funded, although there was no guarantee.

If the subsidies ended in 2018, the lack of funding “would cause further market instability,” Mr. Swedish said, which would make the company’s participation in the federal market “even more challenging.”

While the Republican-controlled Congress and President Trump insist that the markets under the Affordable Care Act have been “imploding,” Anthem’s earnings report on Wednesday offered another sign that some markets were stabilizing.

By adding new customers and raising prices, Anthem said its overall profits reached $1 billion on higher revenue of about $22 billion, beating Wall Street expectations and sending its stock higher on Wednesday. Its shares closed at $179.03, an increase of 3.8 percent.

Anthem, which operates for-profit Blue Cross plans in 14 states, is the latest insurer to say its performance has improved over the past year in the individual markets created under the Affordable Care Act. The company said it now covered 1.1 million people through the state marketplaces or exchanges, with an additional 500,000 customers buying individual policies under the law.

The company is deciding where to sell policies and what to charge for 2018, and it is telling state insurance regulators that it will need to make significant adjustments to its offerings if the government funding remains unclear by early June.

While Mr. Swedish praised some of the steps that have been taken to stabilize the markets, he also urged the Trump administration and Congress to eliminate the tax on health insurance as a way of keeping premiums lower and to create a reinsurance program or high-risk pool to help insurance companies pay claims for people with very high medical expenses.

Another for-profit insurer that has a major presence in the market, Centene, announced its results on Tuesday. The company expressed confidence that there was support from both Republicans and Democrats for the subsidies and said it expected to remain in the market.

Like many other insurers, Anthem has struggled to make money in the marketplaces, but it said it expected to break even or do better this year.

Two independent analyses, from the Kaiser Family Foundation and Standard & Poor’s, suggested that the markets over all were stabilizing despite the claims from Mr. Trump and congressional Republicans that they were collapsing. But there have been recent exits by high-profile insurers like Aetna and Humana, and there is concern that some places could be without an insurer to sell individual policies under the law. Other markets may have only a single insurer offering coverage.

Anthem’s results…

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