UnitedHealth to exit another Western state's health insurance exchange next year

UnitedHealth to exit another Western state's health insurance exchange next year

UnitedHealth to exit another Western state State officials confirmed Tuesday that UnitedHealth Group is exiting from California’s insurance exchange Covered California by the end of the year.

"United is pulling out of California's individual market including Covered California in 2017," Covered California spokesperson Amy Palmer announced.

Plamer assured current UnitedHealth policyholders that they can look for other insurance options for next year once the health plans and rates have been revealed in July.

In April, the health insurer announced that it would pull out from all but a select few health insurance marketplaces in America. At this point, the insurer had not yet unveiled its plans for California.

"The smaller overall market size and shorter term, higher-risk profile within this market segment continue to suggest we cannot broadly serve it on an effective and sustained basis,” said UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley, explaining the insurer’s reasons for withdrawing to investors in April.

According to CNN, UnitedHealth’s exit also affects individual policies sold outside the state exchange. Such policies will remain in effect until the end of December.

UnitedHealth is expected to continue offering coverage to business as well as government workers and their families in California through the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

As it had only joined Covered California this year, UnitedHealth currently only has about 1,200 enrollees in the state. The insurer chose to sit out of the exchange during its first two years—a move that drew the ire of Covered California executive director Peter Lee

Both New York and Nevada have confirmed that UnitedHealth will continue to participate in their state exchanges. The insurer has also made known that it is considering selling plans in Virginia.