June 22, 2017 / 5:13 PM / 4 months ago

Humana out of individual market, with or without Obamacare repeal

NEW YORK, June 22 (Reuters) - Humana Inc will not return to the individual insurance market after it exits the Obamacare exchanges this year, a market that Republicans are trying to repeal and replace through new legislation, Humana’s top executive said on Thursday.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate released a draft of their bill to undo Obamacare, officially called the Affordable Care Act, which reshapes the individual insurance market and the Medicaid program for the poor and reduces taxes.

“This is just not a business that we will be good at,” Humana CEO Bruce Broussard said in an interview, emphasizing that the company, the No. 4 U.S. health insurer, does best managing Medicare Advantage healthcare for older people and the disabled, its specialty.

“No matter what they do in Washington, we are not going to go back in. And we’ve had a lot of people ask us from Washington D.C. if we would go back in and we’ve said no, it’s not there,” he said.

Humana in February announced that it was leaving the individual market, where earlier this year it said it had more than 100,000 customers in Obamacare plans in 11 states. Its departure threatened to leave some counties in some states, such as Tennessee, with no individual insurance choices in 2018.

Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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