UnitedHealthcare to leave Illinois insurance exchange

A company spokeswoman says UnitedHealthcare is pulling out of the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace in Illinois.

Maria Gordon Shydlo of UnitedHealthcare says the company will not offer individual exchange plans in the state in 2017. The company previously told investors it had planned to drastically cut its presence on the exchanges after expanding into 34 states for 2016.

Illinois members will have coverage through the end of the year. UnitedHealthcare sold plans in 27 Illinois counties on the Get Covered Illinois insurance exchange.

The company's Harken Health subsidiary will continue to sell health plans on the Illinois marketplace for 2017.

Buying a plan on the marketplace is the only way consumers who qualify can get federal subsidies to help with the cost under the nation's health care law.