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UnitedHealthcare leaving Illinois public exchange

UnitedHealthcare leaving Illinois public exchange

UnitedHealthcare Inc., the largest health insurer in the nation, will not sell Affordable Care Act plans to Illinois consumers come fall.

Tony Marusic, a local spokesman for the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based insurer, confirmed the departure from Illinois but could not say why UnitedHealthcare is leaving the state specifically. He referred to the UnitedHealth Group Inc. CEO's comments during an earnings call in April, when chief Stephen Hemsley said the insurer only would only sell plans on exchanges in a handful of states.

In Illinois, UnitedHealth is one of eight companies that sold insurance plans to consumers through the federal exchange,, for the enrollment period that ended in January.

UnitedHealthcare's exit would mean fewer choices for consumers and less competition among other insurers vying for their business.

Nationally, nearly 800,000 people enrolled in one of the insurer's plans through the exchanges.

A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Insurance did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

Kristen Schorsch writes for Crain's Chicago Business, a sister publication of Business Insurance.

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