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Anthem to stop selling individual plans in much of Virginia

Anthem Inc. Corporate Headquarters (Photo: MGN Online)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A third insurance company says it will stop offering individual health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act in Virginia.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield said Friday in a statement that its decision was based on the shrinking individual market and uncertainty in Washington.

"Today, planning and pricing for ACA-compliant health plans has become increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance, including cost sharing reduction subsidies and the restoration of taxes on fully insured coverage," the company said in a statement.

Anthem is also reducing its other plan offerings. In all, the changes could affect around 200,000 people.

In his calls to repeal Obamacare, President Donald Trump has threatened to cut funding to insurance companies that helps to subsidize plans for low-income people.

Anthem was in 130 out of Virginia's 134 counties or cities this year, said Cynthia Cox, an associate director at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

State Corporation Commission spokeswoman Katha Treanor said in an email Friday that at least one insurer will still offer individual insurance in each county next year with the exception of some zip codes in Fauquier County.

Treanor said that more than 360,000 Virginians are currently enrolled in individual plans.

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