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A man looks over the Affordable Care Act signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this photo illustration

Aetna to pull out of most Obamacare health plans

Health insurance provider Aetna has decided to stop participating in the Obamacare health exchange program in 11 of 15 states next year, citing financial concerns.

Aetna will continue to participate in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia.

In a statement issued Monday, Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said that the company has suffered a total pretax loss of more than $430 million since January 2014 in its individual products.

“As a strong supporter of public exchanges as a means to meet the needs of the uninsured, we regret having to make this decision,” he said.

Aetna was the latest insurance company to scale back participation, following Humana and UnitedHealth Group. Aetna said it would continue evaluating individual public exchanges in the counties where the program is still in effect.

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Healthcare.gov, said in a statement that Aetna’s decision “does not change the fundamental fact that the Health Insurance Marketplace will continue to bring quality coverage to millions of Americans next year and every year after that. It’s no surprise that companies are adapting at different rates to a market where they compete for business on cost and quality rather than by denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions. But the ACA Marketplace is serving more than 11 million people and has helped America reach the lowest uninsured rate on record.”

The issue of what to do about Obamacare has remained a political one, and Donald Trump’s campaign issued the following statement from its deputy national policy director Dan Kowalski:

“Aetna’s decision to leave the Affordable Care Act’s public marketplaces is the latest blow to this broken law that is slowly imploding under its regulatory red tape. Millions of Americans have lost their health coverage under this disastrous policy, eliminating their ability to choose their doctors. Thousands of businesses have been forced to cut employment or shutter their doors in response to Obama’s signature achievement. Mr. Trump has vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

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