KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

UnitedHealth To Leave California’s Individual Market At Year’s End

UnitedHealth is the second major company to announce its exit in advance of the changes that will take effect as a result of the health law. Meanwhile, Blues plans in Iowa and South Dakota announced plans to skip participation in those two states' health exchanges in 2014.

Los Angeles Times: UnitedHealth To Exit Individual Insurance Market In California
The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group Inc., is leaving California's individual health insurance market, the second major company to exit in advance of major changes under the Affordable Care Act. UnitedHealth said it had notified state regulators that it would leave the state's individual market at year-end and force about 8,000 customers to find new coverage. Last month, Aetna Inc., the nation's third-largest health insurer, made a similar move affecting about 50,000 existing policyholders (Terhune, 7/2).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Iowa, South Dakota Blues Skip Obamacare Exchange Next Year
But on Monday Iowa and South Dakota became the second and third states in which there may be no Blues option when exchange consumers start shopping on Oct. 1. Citing concerns about its ability to deliver quality service as the marketplace ramps up, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield said it won't offer subsidized plans through those exchanges until 2015 (Hancock, 7/1).

Des Moines Register: Wellmark To Sit Out of Exchange Next Year
Iowans who check out the state's new online health insurance purchasing system this fall won't see any policies being offered by Iowa's dominant carrier, but they will see plans from several other companies. The state's main health insurer, Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield, said Monday that it will wait a year before selling policies on the state's new health insurance exchange (Leys, 7/1).

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