Aetna Inc. said it would stop selling individual health insurance policies in California next month, and nearly 50,000 existing policyholders will have to find new coverage by January.
The company's announcement Monday comes a month after it opted not to participate in California's new state-run insurance market for consumers, a key component of the new federal healthcare law.
Aetna was a distant fourth in the state's individual health market with a 5.2% market share in 2011, according to Citigroup data. Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California dominate that business with a collective 87% market share in the state.
Aetna said it would continue to sell health plans in California to small and large employers as well as offer products related to Medicare, dental and life insurance. A company spokeswoman said it was "fully committed to serving the needs of our 1.5 million members in the state."