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5 Recent Market Exits by Health Insurers

Analysis  |  By Jay Asser  
   August 31, 2023

Some payers have decided to shift their strategy or focus their attention on their core line of business.

While most major payers continue to reap profits, not every insurer has experienced smooth sailing over the past year.

Certain companies have either decided to leave markets or abandon their lines of business entirely.

Here's a look at five recent market exits by payers:


The insurer announced it is trimming down its Affordable Care Act exchange offerings, notably leaving Kansas and Missouri in 2024.

Instead, Cigna will expand into 15 new counties in North Carolina, with the potential to reach an additional 200,000 members. With the shift, the payer will offer plans in 350 counties in 2024, compared to 363 in 2023, and in 14 states in total.

Cigna also revealed ACA plan benefits, which include 24/7 virtual care for members through MDLive, along with $0 preventive care, $0 copayments, and $0 deductibles on certain services.

"We take a thoughtful and deliberate approach to our geographic presence to ensure our plans meet high standards for affordability, network quality and comprehensive coverage," Chris DeRosa, president of Cigna's U.S. Government business, said in a press release.


Earlier in the year, Humana made the decision to leave its employer group commercial medical products business to continue making Medicare Advantage its priority.

The move came after a strategic review that determined the business could no longer meet commercial members' needs or support the company's long-term plans.

Medicare Advantage is Humana's bread and butter, with the payer commanding the second-largest market share behind only UnitedHealth Group.

"This decision enables Humana to focus resources on our greatest opportunities for growth and where we can deliver industry leading value for our members and customers," Bruce D. Broussard, Humana president and CEO, said in a statement.

Friday Health Plan

It's been a disappointing journey for Friday Health Plans as it wound down its operations this summer.

After raising hundreds of millions in investments, the insurer eventually sputtered out, leaving tens of thousands of members in search of new health plans.

"Unfortunately, Friday has been unable to scale our financial infrastructure to match the pace of our growth and secure the additional capital required to run our business," the company said in an announcement.

Bright Health

By selling its Medicare Advantage business in California to Molina Healthcare in a deal worth approximately $510 million, Bright Health is now completely out of the insurance business.

The sale allows the company to pay off its debts and obligations to bank lenders and put money towards its liabilities in its discontinued ACA insurance business.

The struggling insurtech was facing bankruptcy and had been slashing its reach in insurance, choosing to instead build around its care delivery business.

"The sale allows us to focus on driving differentiation and sustainable growth through our Consumer Care Delivery business," Mike Mikan, president and CEO of Bright Health, said in a statement.

Oscar Health

Another insurtech, Oscar Health, will leave the California individual market for 2024 with the intention of reentering the state down the road.

Last year, the payer also announced exits for the Exchange and Medicare Advantage markets.

Nevertheless, the company said following the first quarter of 2023 that it expects to hit profitability this year.

"A year ago, we were focused on absorbing our increased scale, ensuring that our operations could handle a sizable increase in growth," said newly appointed CEO Mark Bertolini on a call with investors. "Today, we are focused on advancing the capabilities and technology to best serve our members and have been able to shift our attention to implementing a series of initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency of our operations."

Jay Asser is the contributing editor for strategy at HealthLeaders. 

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