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Insurance company plans to drop 1,000 businesses

9:54 PM, Sep 29, 2010   |    comments
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Health insurance provider AETNA has announced they will move several of their existing clients off the plan in the next year.

A spokesperson for AETNA told 9NEWS on Wednesday approximately one thousand companies will have their plan dropped, and right now they are not disclosing the amount of employees and dependents that will be affected.

The company says they will also stop selling new health insurance to businesses with fifty people or less.

AETNA said in a statement Wednesday that Colorado was one of several states where they were no longer competitive.

Anjie Coplin, a spokesperson with Aetna, released the following statement: "A number of factors contributed to our market withdrawals including low membership and the overall affordability of our small group plans in those states... If we can't offer affordable plans, then we need to rethink our position in the market."

9NEWS went to the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center for their response. They are a Chamber of Commerce Service that consults small businesses at no cost.

"I think all of these obstacles for small businesses, they are a challenge. But, part of being a business owner is learning how to overcome challenges. So I suspect that with this new challenge, they'll figure out a way to overcome it as well," Director Tameka Montgomery said.

Although this move comes at a time when businesses face major price hikes by health insurers, Montgomery says many small businesses she's talked to are uncertain how the new healthcare laws will effect them.

She says she suspects many of the companies affected by AETNA's decision will be able to purchase coverage from other insurers.

AETNA says they are offering employers at least one more renewal. They say they will be notifying all the customers they plan to drop by letter, starting this Friday.

They also say they are planning to stay in the individual and large-group markets in Colorado.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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