Connecticut: More *GOOD* Co-Op news!
With 12 out of 23 ACA-created Co-Ops now having bitten the dust (or at least about to do so as of the end of the year...or sooner, in the case of Health Republic of New York), the Co-Op story has been pretty grim.
However, there has been some good news to report among some of the 11 Co-Ops which remain:
- Community Health Options, which operates in both Maine and New Hampshire, actually made a profit in 2014 (the only one of the Co-Ops to do so). I have no idea how they're doing this year, but I presume they're doing fine.
- Health Republic of New Jersey (not to be confused with the failed New York version with the same name) lost money last year but made a profit for the first half of 2015 and is supposedly in a very good financial position at the moment.
- The Co-Ops operating in Ohio, Montana, Idaho, Illinois and Wisconsin all claim to be on solid financial footing right now, as is NM Health Connections in New Mexico.
- I don't know the status of the Co-Ops in Maryland (Evergreen), Oregon (one folded, a second is still operating) or Massachusetts/New Hampshire (Minuteman Health, the 2nd Co-Op operating in New Hampshire).
That leaves HealthyCT of Connecticut, which is, again, apparently chugging along just fine this year amidst the carnage:
Half of the nearly two dozen Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans created by the Affordable Care Act have failed and won’t be offering health insurance in 2016. However, the nonprofit insurer created by the Connecticut State Medical Society is still in business.
The nonprofit insurer, HealthyCT, opened to Connecticut consumers for the first time in 2014 and will be offering plans for 2016.
...HealthyCT CEO Kenneth Lalime said the low market share ended up being helpful.
“Lower membership contributed in positive way to us not having that type of exposure,” Lalime said.
...But having a higher number of members exposed the company to a higher level of risk.
HealthyCT largely avoided that risk by building its membership slowly. After three years, it has 36,000 members and it has gone after the small and large group market in addition to the individual marketplace.
Before this current enrollment period, HealthyCT had 18 percent of the health insurance market on the exchange.
“Membership isn’t the ticket,” Lalime said. “Rapid membership growth can be difficult if you don’t have the right balancing of financing.”
Lalime credits the amount of financing HealthyCT received from the federal government as the number one reason it’s still in business.
In total, Lalime said the organization has received about $18 million for start-up costs and $108 million in solvency dollars, and remains “well capitalized.”
...Lalime said the question about why other co-cops failed where HealthyCT succeeded may simply be answered with mathematics.
With this, I can update my tally again:
- 2 CO-OPs operating in 3 states turning a profit (ME/NH, NJ)
- 6 CO-OPs operating in 7 states apparently doing OK... (IL, MT/ID, OH, WI, NM, CT)
- 3 CO-OPs treading water, status unknown (MD, MA/NH, OR)
- 1 CO-OP removed from the exchange, possibly to dissolve (MI)
- 1 CO-OP already dissolved (IA/NE)
- 10 CO-OPs being dissolved (NV, LA, NY, KY, TN, CO, OR, SC, UT, AZ)