Aetna and Coventry drop out of Georgia insurance exchange

Aetna and the company it recently acquired, Coventry, have dropped out of the Georgia health insurance exchange, reports Georgia Health News.

The companies’ departure Wednesday means there are just five insurers left to offer coverage in the Georgia exchange, which starts enrollment Oct. 1, GHN said. The companies left to provide coverage are: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Humana (NYSE: HUM) , Alliant, and Peach State.

State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced Wednesday that Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Coventry had suddenly opted out after initially proposing rates for the exchange earlier this year.

GHN reports Hudgens said in a statement, “Obamacare has created great uncertainty in the health insurance market, and I am not surprised that Aetna and Coventry have decided not to participate in the federally facilitated Georgia Exchange.’’

An Aetna spokesman, Walt Cherniak, told GHN that the two companies’ pullback from the exchange process “is not a step we take lightly.’’

Aetna and Coventry will still provide individual insurance plans in Georgia’s off-exchange market, Cherniak said.

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