Aetna to Quit Virginia's Obamacare Market

Aetna CEO Says Bipartisan Solution Needed on Health Care

Aetna Inc. is quitting Virginia’s Obamacare market 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.

UnitedHealth Group Inc., which has largely stopped selling ACA health plans, said last month it was pulling out of Virginia. Also in April, Aetna said it wouldn’t sell Obamacare plans on Iowa’s market 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 Obamacare plans are worsening. Going into this year, the company exited most states where it had been participating in Obamacare.

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