Humana to drop out of ObamaCare at end of 2017

Health insurance company Humana announced Tuesday that it would leave the ObamaCare market in 2018.

The insurer said it would offer plans through 2017, but that the market has not stabilized enough to participate next year.

Humana said it was losing money from taking on too many sick people without enough healthy people to balance the pools.

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The decision came after Humana scaled back participation and raised premiums, among other changes.

"All of these actions were taken with the expectation that the company’s Individual Commercial business would stabilize to the point where the company could continue to participate in the program," the company said in a statement.

"However, based on its initial analysis of data associated with the company’s healthcare exchange membership following the 2017 open enrollment period, Humana is seeing further signs of an unbalanced risk pool."

“Therefore, the company has decided that it cannot continue to offer this coverage for 2018. Through the remainder of 2017, Humana remains committed to serving its current members across 11 states where it offers Individual Commercial products. And, as it has done in the past, Humana will work closely with its state partners as it navigates this process.”

Humana scaled back its exchange participation to 11 states and 156 counties in 2017, down from 1,351 counties in 19 states the previous year.

The withdrawal will have a big impact in Tennessee, where it is the only exchange insurer in several countries.

Humana is also one of only two insurers in dozens of counties in states like Mississippi and Georgia.

The move comes as other insurers worry about the looming ObamaCare repeal push in Congress.

While Humana did not cite repeal as a reason for dropping out of the marketplace, other insurance companies have warned that they might withdraw if lawmakers don't move to stabilize the market.

Earlier Tuesday, Aetna and Humana called off a planned merger after a federal court ruling last month blocked the deal.