Insurer Cigna expanding ObamaCare presence

The insurer Cigna is expanding into a few new ObamaCare markets, a countervailing force to some recent high profile exits by insurers. 

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Cigna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, said Tuesday that it has filed to offer insurance on the ObamaCare marketplaces next year in Chicago, the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina, as well as Northern Virginia and Richmond. 

The move comes as some other large insurers have announced they are pulling out of ObamaCare marketplaces because of financial losses. Humana announced last week that it will participate in no more than 11 states next year, down from 19. 

And UnitedHealthcare is dramatically cutting back to just three state marketplaces next year. 

The Obama administration has argued that in any marketplace it is natural for insurers to both come and go. 

It has pointed to other insurers, like Anthem and Aetna, that have also said that they are planning to stick with participation in ObamaCare marketplaces for now. 

Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, pointed to the Cigna announcement on Twitter, arguing that the media often focuses on insurer exits rather than entrances.