NEW YORK: Good grief. Health Republic CO-OP enrollees won't even be covered thru the end of 2015.
NYDFS, NYSOH, CMS ANNOUNCE ADDITIONAL ACTIONS REGARDING HEALTH REPUBLIC INSURANCE OF NEW YORK
The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), the New York State of Health Marketplace (NYSOH), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced additional actions regarding Health Republic Insurance of New York (“Health Republic”) and a transition plan for Health Republic customers.
On September 25, 2015, NYDFS directed Health Republic to cease writing new health insurance policies and announced that the co-op will commence an orderly wind down after the expiration of its existing policies. However, a subsequent NYDFS and CMS-led review of Health Republic’s finances has found that the company’s financial condition is substantially worse than the company previously reported in its filings to NYDFS. In light of these developments, NYDFS and the NYSOH Marketplace have determined that it is in the best interest of consumers to end all Health Republic policies – both individual and small group – on November 30, 2015 so that customers can transition to new coverage after that date.
Information Regarding Individual Plans
Individual policies run on a calendar-year basis. Individuals who purchased a Health Republic plan on the New York State of Health (NYSOH) Marketplace must take action to choose a new plan for the remainder of 2015 on or before November 15, 2015. For assistance with this process, NYSOH has established a special Customer Service helpline at 1-855-329-8899. Customer Service hours are from 8 am to 8 pm on Monday through Friday and 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday.
OK, this is definitely not good. As bad as having 10 CO-OPs go out of business this year is, until now the saving grace has been that at least they were all supposed to be up, running and covering medical claims through the end of December, allowing current enrollees plenty of time (until December 15th or 23rd depending on the state) to move to other coverage starting in January.
What this announcement means is that current Health Republic of NY enrollees will only be covered through the end of November, not December.
That means that up to 166,000 people (87K in individual policies, 79K in small group policies) are going to have to scramble to find new coverage in the next 2 weeks (by November 15th) to avoid a coverage gap for December specifically.
UPDATE: I was contacted by a woman named Liz Jackson, a NY-based disability advocate who is among the 87,000 individual Health Republic NY enrollees who have been put in a hell of a bind by this mess. I highly recommend reading all 3 of her Medium posts on her own experience, which help put a human face on the situation:
As a reminder, here's some links which help explain the background about how the CO-OPs have been sabotaged almost from day one, via opposition from both the Republican Party and the insurance industry (along with a kneejerk reactionary move from the Obama administration):