Optima to draw back Virginia exchange footprint; 63 counties could lack insurer

Norfolk, Va.-based Optima Health will reduce its individual marketplace footprint next year in Virginia, a move possibly leaving 70,000 enrollees without coverage.

Optima Health serves 35 of Virginia's counties this year. Next year, it will exit about half of those counties and enter two counties in the Charlottesville area, Bloomberg reports.

The health plan told state regulators it "anticipates a substantial increase in membership due to the recent announcement of market exits by other issuers" next year.  Those insurers include Indianapolis-based Anthem, Aetna in Hartford, Conn., and Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealthcare.

A spokesperson for Virginia's state insurance regulator told Bloomberg the department "is engaged in serious ongoing discussions with potential carriers to try to fill the gaps" left by the drawbacks. 

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