June 15 Aetna Inc said on Saturday it
has notified California's insurance regulator that it plans to
stop selling health policies to individual consumers in the
state at the end of 2013.
The company will continue to offer health insurance to
employers and Medicare beneficiaries in California, as well as
dental and life-insurance products, Aetna spokeswoman Anjie
Coplin told Reuters. But people with individual health coverage
with Aetna will have to find alternative coverage by year's end.
Aetna had informed California Insurance Commissioner Dave
Jones of its decision to exit the market, Coplin said, but it
was still in the process of notifying members and brokers.
The move comes as California, the country's most populous
state, prepares for the fall launch of a state health exchange
authorized by President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
The exchange establishes new standards for health insurance
products sold to individuals in the state, whether or not they
are offered through the exchange.
Coplin did not immediately respond to an e-mail or voicemail
asking why Aetna had decided to exit the individual health
insurance market in California.
Aetna says its decision will affect only 49,000 of its 1.5
million policyholders in the state.