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Evergreen Health to discontinue individual plans in 2017

The Maryland Insurance Administration said Dec. 8 that Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc. will not issue or renew individual health benefit policies, on and off the state's exchange, for plan year 2017.

The insurer intends to convert to for-profit status following financial stress earlier in 2016, the Baltimore Business Journal reported Dec. 8. In relation to the move, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services imposed a temporary suspension on Evergreen's new enrollments.

Approximately 6,000 individuals in Evergreen's on-exchange plans will automatically be transferred to other plans offered by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield or Kaiser Permanente, the news outlet said, citing Jon Kromm, interim head of the state's exchange, Maryland Health Connection. About 3,000 enrolled in individual off-exchange Evergreen plans will need to obtain a new plan.

Group policyholders will not be affected by the move, according to the state's insurance administration.

Evergreen will refund members who have paid for January 2017 coverage, according to information on the company's website.