Aetna exits New York exchange after Coventry acquisition

Aetna has pulled out of New York's health insurance exchange, though it will continue to sell plans outside of the exchange for small and large businesses in the state, the insurer announced Thursday.

Although Aetna submitted a proposal to sell plans on the New York exchange earlier this year, its acquisition of insurer Coventry in May changed its business strategy, Reuters reported.

"This was not a step taken lightly," Aetna spokeswoman Cynthia Michener said in an emailed statement. "Our goal for 2014 is to participate in a limited number of state exchanges where we can be competitive and add the most value to the market."

The decision makes New York the fifth state exchange from which Aetna has withdrawn. It also has pulled out of exchanges in Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland and Ohio, reported BenefitsPro.

"More than a few large companies are not participating in the exchanges nationwide," John Aloysius Cogan Jr., associate professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law, told the Hartford Courant. "I think there's a fair amount of uncertainty as to how things are going to work going forward."

To learn more:
- read the Reuters article
- see the Hartford Courant article
- check out the Benefits Pro article