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Iowa insurerer created under the Affordable Care Act finds itself in dire financial straits


Image by Jason Wesley Upton via Flickr Creative Commons.
Image by Jason Wesley Upton via Flickr Creative Commons.

Under supervision of the Iowa District Court, the Iowa Insurance Division (IID) took control of CoOpportunity Health’s assets last month after declaring the Iowa insurer to be in hazardous financial condition — a process known as rehabilitation.

CoOpportunity Health, a Des Moines-based nonprofit insurer, was created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — commonly known as Obamacare — and is the first Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) to be rehabbed. The program is designed to offer individuals and small businesses additional “affordable, consumer friendly and high quality insurance options,” according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

According to Iowa Attorney General Thomas Miller, the company’s cash flow problems resulted from the delay or elimination of $125 million in federal payments for risk mitigation programs that are part of the ACA’s policy premium stabilization programs, as well as the unavailability of money from the CMS.

CoOpportunity Health will be rehabbed by Nick Gerhart, an Iowa Insurance Commissioner, whereupon Policyholders will continue to receive insurance if their premiums are paid.

As a result of the rehab, the company is no longer offering health plans for individuals on the Health Insurance Marketplace in Iowa and Nebraska — accessible through HealthCare.gov — or the SHOP Marketplace for small employers in Iowa and Nebraska for 2015.

Customers who signed up for a CoOpportunity Health plan on Dec. 16, 2014, or later need to find other coverage before the end of open enrollment, which ends Feb. 15, 2015.

More about CoOpportunity’s rehab and notice to policyholders and employer group insurance plans is available on their official website.


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