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Michael Conroy / AP

Anthem is withdrawing almost all of its individual Affordable Care Act health plans in Virginia, the company said Friday. However, all counties in the state will still have an ACA insurance option because Optima Health, an insurer owned by hospital system Sentara Healthcare, is expanding.

Why it matters: Anthem continues its piecemeal retreat from the ACA exchanges. The Blue Cross Blue Shield brand has now substantially left the marketplaces in California, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin. However, Anthem is keeping a minimal presence off the exchanges in those states, in case it decides to come back.

Update: This story has been updated to note that Optima’s expansion will save Virginia from having counties with no insurance options. An earlier version of this story raised the possibility that Anthem’s exit could have expanded the number of U.S. counties without ACA insurers.

Go deeper

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Representatives from all branches of the military escort the 46th president to the White House.

Inaugural address: Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

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