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For 2017, Turnover Among Insurance Companies On Obamacare Exchange In NC

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The Obamacare exchange in North Carolina will experience some turnover among insurance companies next year. It'll likely result in three companies still taking part but only one or two in most counties.

UnitedHealth Group is dropping out of at least 15 Obamacare exchanges next year, including North Carolina's. The company says it was losing too much money on that part of its business.

Another insurance company, Cigna, plans to join the North Carolina exchange, says spokesman Joe Mondy.

“There are really three elements that we look at in terms of which markets we decide to go into,” he says.

They are access to quality doctors and facilities, how much those providers cost, and whether Cigna can deliver a sustainable, competitive price.

“We think we have them in North Carolina, and we'll be offering health plans on the exchange contingent on approval of our filing from the regulators this fall,” Mondy says.

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Cigna would offer plans in six counties in the Raleigh/Durham area.

United, on the other hand, is dropping out of nearly 80 counties. It's unclear at this point whether there will be one or two companies left in the bulk of those. BlueCross BlueShield and Aetna plan to participate again but haven't specified where.  

State insurance officials will release some information this week about how much they'll charge.

About 600,000 North Carolinians are covered on the exchange. That equates to a fairly small percentage of total coverage, as most people are covered through work, Medicare or Medicaid.  

Copyright 2016 WFAE

Michael Tomsic became a full-time reporter for WFAE in August 2012. Before that, he reported for the station as a freelancer and intern while he finished his senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Heââ
Michael Tomsic
Michael Tomsic covers health care, voting rights, NASCAR, peach-shaped water towers and everything in between. He drivesWFAE'shealth care coverage through a partnership with NPR and Kaiser Health News. He became a full-time reporter forWFAEin August 2012. Before that, he reported for the station as a freelancer and intern while he finished his senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He interned with Weekends on All Things Considered in Washington, D.C., where he contributed to the show’s cover stories, produced interviews withNasand BranfordMarsalis, and reported a story about a surge of college graduates joining the military. AtUNC, he was the managing editor of the student radio newscast, Carolina Connection. He got his start in public radio as an intern withWHQRin Wilmington, N.C., where he grew up.