- UnitedHealth Group has stated its intent to leave the individual marketplaces for ACA plans in Kentucky and Iowa--bringing the number of states it plans to exit in 2017 to a current total of 26, Bloomberg reported. For this year, the insurer participates in 34 ACA state markets.
- The insurer has so far indicated plans to continue operating on the exchanges in New York, Nevada, and Virginia.
- The additional departures have been no surprise following UnitedHealth's previous announcement that it would only remain in a "handful" of states for 2017.
UnitedHealth is leaving both states' individual markets both on and off the exchanges, as well as leaving both states' small-business exchanges, but continuing to offer small-business plans off the exchange.
The departures are part of UnitedHealth's chain of reactions to its continued losses on exchange plans. While the high-profile moves are drawing national attention, analysts suggest the negative impacts will be limited to certain areas.
The Kaiser Family Foundation study found a departure in Kentucky could be expected to leave about 20% of the state’s population with only one insurer option, and another 22% with only two choices.
The landscape will be shifting in Iowa, where as UnitedHealth leaves, Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield is preparing to enter.