NHS England pledged to support the commissioners of 111 services to put in place alternative providers.
The company announced that it was preparing for a "planned withdrawal" from the contracts after projecting a £26 million deficit for the coming financial year.
NHS Direct provides the non-emergency phone line in nine regions of England.
NHS Direct said it is seeking to withdraw from 111 contacts because they have proved to be "financially unsustainable".
The troubled NHS 111 telephone service was thrown into turmoil today as one of its main providers, NHS Direct, announced it was seeking to "withdraw from the contracts it entered into".
NHS Direct is due to make a statement within the next half an hour regarding the non-emergency 111 helpline.
Earlier this month NHS Direct announced it would not be able to initiate contracts in Cornwall and North Essex.
A statement said: "NHS Direct have written to commissioners in Cornwall and North Essex advising them that they are unable to initiate contracts for the NHS 111 service because they cannot be delivered for the resources within the contracts."
There's growing concern about the service being offered to patients by the new non-emergency telephone helpline 111.
It was supposed to be an alternative to 999 - removing some of the workload from the overstretched ambulance service and the overcrowded hospital emergency rooms but critics say it's adding more pressure.
NHS departments in the West Country claim they have seen a big increase in 999 calls since the NHS 111 service was introduced.
They say a high number of inappropriate calls were passed on from the new computerised helpline, which is run by a private provider.
They say number were particularly high in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.