With bankruptcy looming, Bright Health is fully ditching its insurance business

Embattled insurtech Bright Health will fully ax its insurance business as a potential bankruptcy looms, the company announced Friday.

The company secured an extension to its credit facility through June 30, giving it a few extra months to avoid going belly-up. To ensure it qualifies for the extension, the company must find a buyer for its California-based Medicare Advantage (MA) business by the end of May, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bright Health revealed March 1 that it had overdrawn its credit and would need to secure $300 million by the end of April to stay afloat.

The MA business includes nearly 125,000 California seniors across its Brand New Day and Central Health Plan brands. In the announcement, Bright said the sale would "substantially bolster" its finances. 

"Since our founding, Bright Health has worked to make healthcare simpler, more personal and affordable for consumers," CEO Mike Mikan said in the announcement. "As our markets evolve, we are taking steps to adapt and ensure our businesses are best positioned for long-term success."

In late 2022, the company announced that it would exit the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) exchanges and slashed its reach in MA down to just California and Florida as its financial challenges mounted. It later cut the Florida plans as well.

Manny Kadre, lead independent director of Bright Health’s board of directors, said in the announcement that the company has "received inbound interest" about the California MA business as it explores its options.

With the full divestiture of its insurance business, that means Bright Health will be all-in on its NeueHealth care delivery services. Mikan said in the announcement that the segment performed well in the first quarter and has grown to serve about 375,000 value-based care customers.

As Bright shops for a buyer for its MA plans, it's also continuing to unwind the ACA business, a process that hit a snag as it was hit with a lawsuit from Oklahoma-based health system SSM Health, which alleged that the insurer owed it more than $13 million in unpaid claims.

Bright Health is also under the gun to boost its stock price, as the New York Stock Exchange has threatened to delist its shares. Shares in the company were trading at 17 cents on Friday afternoon.