Aetna to stop selling individual plans in Calif.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Aetna Inc. has notified state regulators that it will stop selling individual health insurance policies in California, just weeks after opting out of the exchange that is being established as part of the national health care reforms.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said Tuesday that Aetna's decision is "not good news" because consumers need more choices. The decision does not affect people who have Aetna insurance through their employer.

The California HealthCare Foundation says Aetna has about 5 percent of the state's individual health market. Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Kaiser share 87 percent.

Aetna says it has about 58,000 individual enrollees in the state.

Starting Oct. 1, those seeking to buy their own health insurance will be directed to the exchange, where 13 carriers will offer plans.

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