Anthem to pull out of Maine's health insurance exchange

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Health insurer Anthem says it’s leaving Maine’s health insurance exchange next year because of market volatility and uncertainty.

The move announced Wednesday means Maine is down to two insurers offering plans on the exchange set up by former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Anthem hinted its possible departure in June filings. Company spokesman Colin Manning said the market remains volatile while the individual market shrinks.

Congress has been mulling GOP proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

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Manning cited uncertainty over the restoration of a health insurance tax and the future of federal health subsidies.

Anthem will reduce its health plan offerings and offer one gold-level plan only available in Aroostook, Hancock and Washington counties.

Lewiston-based Community Health Options, the state’s only health insurance co-op, is one of two insurers that will be left in the marketplace. CEO Kevin Lewis said Wednesday that Community Health Options doesn’t plan to go anywhere.

“We at Community Health Options remain committed to the Maine market, to Maine businesses and consumers,” he said. “We continue to focus our efforts to provide greater efficiencies, provide excellent Member service in all aspects of our company, and fulfill our mission of better health outcomes at lower total costs of care. While the landscape of health reform has been murky of late, our ongoing efforts to do well for Maine people has never been clearer.”

Insurers faced a Wednesday deadline to file rates with federal regulators.

The Sun Journal contributed to this report.

The Anthem logo hangs at the health insurer’s corporate headquarters in Indianapolis in February 2015.

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