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Medicare+Choice pullouts' deep, deep sting

The health plan exodus from Medicare+Choice will affect 934,000 people in 2001 — more than were affected in 1999 and 2000 combined, according to the Health Care Financing Administration. Citing regulatory burdens and poor capitation rates, health plans pulled out of Medicare not just on a county-by-county basis this time, but in many cases, whole states. Aetna and Cigna's withdrawals will trim more than half of the two companies' Medicare enrollment. Humana, which is paring 16 percent of its Medicare membership, says it will lose $39 million on Medicare operations this year.

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