NU Online News Service, April 22, 4:47 p.m. ? The Colorado Division of Insurance says small employers have to act quickly now that Aetna Inc., Hartford, is leaving the state’s small-group market.

Aetna U.S. Healthcare, a unit of Aetna, announced four months ago that it would be leaving the small-group market June 1. The departure affects nearly 100,000 Colorado residents.

Employer groups with two to 50 employees that have Aetna coverage could lose coverage, at least temporarily, if they fail to apply for alternative coverage in the next few weeks, the Colorado division says.

Some small-group carriers will take applications from small groups until June 1, but some have set the cut-off date at May 1, the division warns.

So far, employers have shifted only about half of the affected workers into new health plans, the Colorado division says.

The rules are different for groups that meet Colorado’s statutory definition of a “business group of one,” or a “BG1.” Groups of one are guaranteed coverage, effective June 1.

If, however, a group no longer qualifies as a business group of one, it must make sure to leave enough time to apply for traditional individual coverage or coverage from Colorado’s high-risk health program, CoverColorado, the Colorado division says.