Aetna pulls out of Obamacare, Arizona county at risk for not having healthcare coverage

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Aetna Bails on Obamacare, Some Arizona Residents Uninsured

Health insurance titan Aetna is pulling out of most of the insurance exchanges created by Obamacare, and that's left one Arizona county high and dry when it comes to health care coverage.

Aetna would have been the only provider selling insurance in Pinal County, Arizona, in 2017. Without them, the nearly 10,000 people in the county who currently rely on the federal marketplace won't be able to buy health insurance.

SEE MORE: Obamacare Premium Costs Could Increase In 2017

The state still has about a week to fill the gap, and the state's insurance department is apparently talking to other insurance providers about picking up the slack. But if that deadline passes, Pinal County residents won't be able to buy any of Obamacare's federally-subsidized insurance plans.

Arizona is just one of the 11 states Aetna will no longer cover through Obamacare; the company's subsidized plans will now only be available in four states. It's the third major insurer to cut back on federal exchanges, following UnitedHealth Group and Humana.

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini cited massive losses as the driving factor behind the exit; the company lost $200 million in the second quarter before taxes. Bertolini previously defended those losses to investors as the cost of entering new markets; he noted Tuesday the company wasn't giving up on exchanges altogether.

SEE MORE: Survey Shows Health Care CEOs Overwhelmingly Support Obamacare

Bertolini said, "We will continue to evaluate our participation in individual public exchanges ... and may expand our footprint in the future should there be meaningful exchange-related policy improvements."

It's also worth noting Aetna is currently squabbling with the Justice Department over its plans to acquire Humana. Last month the DOJ sued to block the proposed merger, arguing it would harm competition.

See images of Obamacare across the nation:

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MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 15: A person walks into the UniVista Insurance company office where people are signing up for health care plans under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, on December 15, 2015 in Miami, Florida. Today, is the deadline to sign up for a plan under the Affordable Care Act for people that want to be insured on January 1, 2016. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks about healthcare reforms and the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, during the Catholic Hospital Association Conference in Washington, DC, June 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 04: Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gather in front of the U.S Supreme Court during a rally March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell that could determine the fate of health care subsidies for as many as eight million people. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Protestors hold placards challenging 'Obamacare' outside of the US Supreme Court on March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court faces a momentous case Wednesday on the sweeping health insurance reform law that President Barack Obama wants to leave as part of his legacy. The question before the court is whether the seven million people or more who subscribed via the government's website can obtain tax subsidies that make the coverage affordable. A ruling is expected in June. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 04: Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gather in front of the U.S Supreme Court during a rally March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell that could determine the fate of health care subsidies for as many as eight million people. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks about healthcare reforms and the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, during the Catholic Hospital Association Conference in Washington, DC, June 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 04: Five-year-old James Cook of Cleveland, Ohio, participates in a rally to support the Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S Supreme Court March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell that could determine the fate of health care subsidies for as many as eight million people. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 04: Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gather in front of the U.S Supreme Court during a rally March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell that could determine the fate of health care subsidies for as many as eight million people. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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