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Anthem to leave Nevada's Obamacare exchange in 2018

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Health insurer Anthem said will not sell insurance plans in Obamacare's exchange in Nevada next year. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Anthem will not sell insurance plans in Obamacare's exchange in Nevada next year, as it becomes the latest insurer to defect from the law's marketplace.

Anthem's decision, announced by Nevada's insurance regulator Monday, comes as insurers are starting to set their rates and participation in Obamacare's exchanges for next year. Congress is aiming to create a bipartisan deal to boost the individual market, which includes the law's exchanges, by the end of September.

Anthem was proposing a stiff increase in premiums of 62 percent in 2018. That rate hike didn't reflect the possible elimination of cost-sharing reduction payments to reimburse insurers for reducing out-of-pocket costs for low-income Obamacare customers.

The White House has not decided if it wants to continue the payments for 2018. Congress will attempt a bipartisan solution on the payments when it returns next month.

Anthem said last month it would retreat from 14 counties in Nevada next year, leaving residents in those counties without an insurer.

Anthem is now deciding to not offer plans in the three remaining counties where it offered plans this year.

Anthem previously announced it is leaving Obamacare exchanges in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio.

Anthem said that it would offer one catastrophic medical plan off the exchange in Nevada.

It also announced that it will offer on- and off-exchange health plans in 85 counties in Georgia. The counties are mostly rural ones that wouldn't have insurance coverage otherwise, the insurer said.

Anthem said its decision to pull back in Nevada was because of problems with enrollment in Obamacare and uncertainty surrounding the CSR payments.

"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.