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UnitedHealth Group plans to remain in Nevada

Health care company UnitedHealth Group Inc., which announced Tuesday it would limit its participation to a handful of Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges in 2017, will remain in Nevada’s exchange, according to The Associated Press.

The company, which so far is expected to halt participation in exchanges serving Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan and Oklahoma, had expanded its participation to 34 states this year, the AP reported Tuesday.

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hemsley announced during the company’s first-quarter earnings conference call Tuesday that it would slash its participation and serve exchanges in only a few states in 2017.

In prepared remarks, Hemsley said the insurer had unfavorable experiences and performances in the individual exchange market, citing the smaller overall market size and shorter-term, higher-risk profile of clients as indicators they couldn’t effectively service the market.

“We continue to remain an advocate for more stable and sustainable approaches to serving this market and those who rely on it for care,” he said.

UnitedHealthcare and OptumCare both fall under the UnitedHealth Group umbrella, and in Nevada, the former includes Health Plan of Nevada, Senior Dimensions and Sierra Health and Life.

OptumCare, where United’s health care delivery systems are located, is a separate company that includes Southwest Medical Associates.

Before the official announcement of a United Health Foundation grant to UNLV early this month, Robert McBeath, president and CEO of Southwest Medical, described United as having a “significant commitment” to Nevada.

UnitedHealthcare is the state’s largest health insurer, according to a recent company statement.

Contact Pashtana Usufzy at pusufzy@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Find @pashtana_u on Twitter.

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