Friday dominoes continue to fall: Friday Health Plans in peril in Oklahoma, Georgia...and Nevada?
Texas: Friday Health Plans Bails; Another ~230K Enrollees Will Have To Pick A Different Day Of The Week
It was just four days ago that Bright Healthcare, which had been aggressively expanding their individual market coverage area footprint as recently as a year ago, suddenly announced that they were doing a complete 180 and instead pulling out of virtually the entire individual & small group markets nationally starting in January 2023.
...Well, just one day after the Bright Healthcare bombshell news broke, Texas-based health insurance broker Jenny Chumbley Hogue sounded the alarm on another large carrier bailing on Texas next year:
— Jenny Chumbley Hogue (@kgmom219) October 12, 2022
And its confirmed. Email received from Friday. Buckle up folks! Individual OEP in Texas is going to be a bumpy ride! https://t.co/AMNJ4rPyr3
— Jenny Chumbley Hogue (@kgmom219) October 12, 2022
March 29th, 2023:
Texas regulators have placed Friday Health Plans into liquidation and ordered the company to end all business in the state.
A district court in Austin found that Friday's Texas subsidiary is insolvent and had not maintained a minimum surplus of $1.4 million under state law. pic.twitter.com/3wetzhiVpB
— AHVAP (@AHVAPORG) March 29, 2023
April 3rd, 2023:
Friday Health Plans in North Carolina is no longer accepting new applications as of 3/31 at 8pm ET.
— Stacy Edgar (@stacymei) April 3, 2023
This was confirmed in an email sent by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services the same day:
Friday Health Plans of North Carolina Stops Accepting New Enrollment
As of March 31, 2023, Friday Health Plans of North Carolina, after discussions with state regulators, stopped offering additional enrollment in North Carolina. This announcement does not affect those consumers who have already chosen Friday Health Plans of North Carolina for 2023 health coverage. This announcement also does not affect Friday plans offered in other HealthCare.gov states.
As a result of this action, consumers in North Carolina who aren’t already enrolled in a Friday plan won’t see or be able to select a Friday plan through HealthCare.gov. North Carolina consumers who are already enrolled in a Friday plan for 2023 will continue to see and stay in their current plan for 2023 coverage, but won’t be able to change to another plan with Friday. Current Friday Health Plan enrollees in North Carolina will still be able to update their plan with household changes and life events (including adding members to existing policies).
Friday Health Plans Inc., a Texas-based health insurance startup, has been placed under receivership by the Texas Department of Insurance and ordered to liquidate. The Travis County District Court found Friday Health to be insolvent, with total liabilities exceeding its admitted assets and total adjusted capital less than what is required under the Texas Insurance Code. The company launched in 2015 and focused on marketplace products, later expanding to Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs). But like other startups, it struggled to reach profitability or substantial market share.
Prior to the receivership, Friday enrolled 293,111 members in Texas, making it the fourth-largest exchange insurer in the state. Members will continue to receive benefits until the company fully winds down operations, according to Friday Health’s website. The insurer continues to serve an additional 88,580 members in six other states; Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Oklahoma.
Again, Friday had actually dropped out of Texas' ACA exchange last fall, so they shouldn't have any current individual market enrollees in the state today. The other ~88K enrollees in the other states might want to pay attention, however.
Insurance Commissioner Places Friday Health Under Supervision
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready announced today that he has placed Friday Health Plans of Oklahoma, Inc. (Friday Health) under supervision of the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID). Friday Health is a health maintenance organization domiciled and licensed only in Oklahoma.
Commissioner Mulready stated, “The decision to place Friday Health under supervision was not taken lightly. However, given the company’s financial situation, we determined this was the best action to protect policyholders and ensure their claims are paid.”
Friday Health is a subsidiary of the Friday Health group. The Friday Health group is Colorado-based and provides health coverage to individuals and families in multiple states. The company was founded in 2015 and had been operating the Friday Health Plans of Oklahoma HMO since 2019.
The OID has been monitoring the declining financial situation with the Friday Health group over the past year and has been in regular communication with their leadership team since late 2022 when several executive members were replaced.
The Agreed Order of Supervision requires Friday Health to continue processing and servicing its claims and members, including making timely payments during supervision. In addition, Friday Health shall demonstrate an attainable path to achieve necessary and sufficient capital and surplus as required by the Oklahoma Insurance Code.
Commissioner Mulready will designate an experienced supervisor to oversee and monitor Friday Health’s finances and claims handling to ensure members, creditors, and the public are protected.
Well that's not very reassuring.
Meanwhile, rumor also has it that, just as in North Carolina, Friday Health Plans has also been ordered to cease accepting new enrollees in both Georgia and Nevada. I don't have an official press release or statement confirming either of these yet, but it certainly wouldn't be surprising.
If so, that would leave just Colorado as the only state left where Friday is still enrolling people. No idea how long those will last, though...
UPDATE: I just received confirmation via email that Friday is indeed shutting down new enrollments in Georgia:
Dear Valued Broker,
In conjunction with the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner (“OCI”) and CMS, Friday Health Plans of Georgia, Inc. (“FHP GA”), has agreed to suspend new member enrollments, on and off-exchange in Georgia. Existing FHP GA members are not impacted by this change.
If you, or one of your individual customers attempts to enroll in a Friday health plan in the state of Georgia, an error message will display. This process is necessary to prevent individuals or their brokers from erroneously enrolling in a plan.
FHP GA has achieved growth that exceeded expectations. Out of an abundance of caution and our desire to grow in a tightly controlled manner, we have agreed to halt new enrollment into all FHP GA plans. We will continue to work with OCI to monitor our progress as a company and look forward to reopening enrollment to serve those individuals seeking coverage on or off the Federal exchanges.
In good health,
Friday Health Plans
(I'm not a "Valued Broker"...the email was forwarded to me by someone who presumably is.)
This is a serious issue, but I couldn't help but notice a pattern surrounding these flashy startup "next generation" insurance carriers last fall:
The key to being a successful player in the health insurance market is to NOT have a short, cutesy name like Oscar, Bright or Friday.
For all the griping I keep doing over names like "Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of the Pacific Northwest," that seems to be the way to survive.
— Charles Gaba (@charles_gaba) October 12, 2022