Assurant to sell or close health insurance division which has struggled under new federal law

Markets Associated Press

Assurant Inc. says it will sell or shut down its health insurance division that has struggled financially since the introduction of the federal Affordable Care Act.

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Assurant Health, headquartered in Milwaukee, is expected to report an operating loss of up to $90 million in the first quarter following a loss of $64 million last year.

The company, which reported $2 billion in revenue last year, has sold health insurance to individuals in 41 states and on 16 marketplaces set up under the Affordable Care Act. It sold health plans to small employers in 34 states.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1OIQ8Xk ) says federal health care law negated one of Assurant Health's strengths — determining which customers are the best risk. The law bars insurers from turning away customers because of pre-existing health conditions.