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Aetna to Quit Virginia's ACA Exchange as CEO Limits Risk

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(Bloomberg) — Aetna Inc. is quitting Virginia’s Affordable Care Act public exchange program for 2018, the second state that Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini is exiting as he seeks to limit his insurer’s risks from the beleaguered health law.

“We will not offer on-or off-exchange individual plans in Virginia,” Aetna said in an emailed statement, citing $200 million or more in losses the company anticipates this year on individual products. The insurer also cited “growing uncertainty in the marketplace” for the plans.

(Related: 6 Things to Know About Tim Kaine and Insurance)

UnitedHealth Group Inc., which has largely stopped selling ACA exchange health plans, said last month it was pulling out of Virginia. Also in April, Aetna said it wouldn’t sell plans on Iowa’s exchange next year.

With Aetna’s Virginia exit, the insurer will only be in Delaware and Nebraska next year, if it doesn’t leave those too.

“We will communicate decisions on our remaining states as appropriate,” Aetna said in the email.

Insurers have been questioning their participation in the Affordable Care Act as they take losses and see a Republican Congress and White House that have threatened to repeal or undermine the law. President Donald Trump’s administration has said it may withhold some subsidies that help low income people use their health plans. That could cause insurers to leave or to significantly raise rates.

Aetna said yesterday that its per-person losses from ACA exchange plans are worsening. Going into this year, the company exited most states where it had been participating in the ACA exchange system.

— Read Aetna and Humana Break Up on ThinkAdvisor.


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