June 30, 2017 / 2:19 PM / 3 years ago

Centene to fill individual insurance gaps in Missouri

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Centene Corp, one of the largest providers of individual insurance created by Obamacare, said on Friday it would sell plans in 2018 in its home state of Missouri, a market where some individual customers were facing no insurance option next year.

Centene said it would cover 40 counties, including those that were expected to have no insurer after Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City said earlier this year it would stop offering products under Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, like many insurers, cited mounting financial losses on the exchanges for the move. Large monthly insurance premium hikes, uncertainty about government subsidy payments in 2018 and concerns that only the sickest customers will sign up have caused other insurers, including Anthem Inc, to drop out of some areas.

Republicans are trying to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation but have not agreed on how to do so.

St. Louis-based Centene is a Medicaid provider in Missouri. “We strive to be a responsible partner with the state,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Neidorff said in a statement.

Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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