When the new health exchange opens for business in Missouri on Oct. 1, at least three major health insurers will not be participating.
UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest insurer, said Monday that it won't offer insurance policies this fall in the federally run health exchange in Missouri, but may enter the exchange later. The Minneapolis-based insurer also plans for the time being to stay out of Illinois' health exchange.
Cigna, another leading insurer, intends to participate in only five of the 10 states in which it currently writes individual health policies. Cigna, based in Bloomfield, Conn., does not write individual policies in Missouri. Assurant Health, based in New York City, also won't participate next year.
Health exchanges are designed to give consumers the opportunity to "comparison shop" for health insurance plans, and some insurers have complained there are still too many uncertainties to make sound business decisions.