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Cigna CEO: We haven't made money on ObamaCare plans

The CEO of the health insurer Cigna said his company has not made any money selling the new ObamaCare plans but cautioned that his company does not intend to drop out of the marketplace.

David Cordani, who has led the company since 2009, said the marketplace has been in “version 1.0” for its first three years of enrollment. But he said that’s what he had expected from the start of the new law.

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“We said from day one we didn’t expect to make money on it. We didn’t make money on it in 2014 and we aren’t making money on it in 2015,” Cordani said in an interview with Kaiser Health News published Monday.

He said from day one he believed it would take three years, through 2016, “for the market to shake itself out.”

Cordani is standing behind Cigna's participation in the exchanges shortly after the CEO of UnitedHealthCare warned that his company was considering pulling out of the exchanges altogether in 2017. UnitedHealthCare, the country’s overall largest insurer, entered the exchanges in its second year and is now projecting higher-than-expected losses.

Cordani, however, said he stands behind his company’s decision to test the waters of the exchanges by participating in its first year.

He said the government can still do more to boost enrollment, pointing to a “perceived affordability challenge.”

“If [insurers] are allowed more flexibility in benefit and network configuration, we’re probably going to get solutions that are much more relevant to a part of the population that is not buying,” he said.

Cigna has a small share of the customers in the exchanges — only about 220,000 individual customers. All together, nearly 10 million people have bought plans through the marketplace since the healthcare law’s passage.

But the company’s share could expand dramatically if its $54 billion purchase bid by Anthem is approved by federal regulators. Anthem is one of the biggest players in the individual market.

Anthem’s CEO also spoke out after the UnitedHealthCare scare, maintaining its commitment to the marketplace and backing its 2015 expectations. Aetna, another one of the country’s largest insurers, also confirmed its projections to ease investor concerns.