The failure last month of New York’s Health Republic “shocked, shocked!” all the right people, and left 200,000 residents without health insurance and a $150,000,000 hole in health provider’s accounts receivable.
Still, ♡bamaCare!!! supporters — and there do seem to be a few of them left — could at least point to tiny Maine’s Community Health Options co-op as an example of low-cost coverage done profitably.
Maine’s Community Health Options lost more than $17 million in the first nine months of this year, after making $10.9 million in the same period last year. A spokesman said higher-than-expected medical costs have hurt the cooperative.
The announcement casts further doubt on the future of the cooperatives, small nonprofit insurers devised during the ACA’s creation to inject competition in insurance markets. These co-ops immediately struggled to build their businesses. A dozen of the 23 created have already folded.
An Associated Press review of financial statements from 10 of the 11 surviving co-ops shows that they lost, on average, more than $21 million in the first nine months of this year. Those losses range from $3.9 million reported by Maryland’s Evergreen Health Cooperative to $50.7 million booked by Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Co. in Illinois.
Community Health Options just announced they will stop taking new customers on December 26. Last year CEO Kevin Lewis told Kaiser Health News, “It just goes to show you can do well by people and do well financially.”
The co-ops received billions in startup funds from American taxpayers, and have become better known for lavish (and illegal) executive pay than they are for providing affordable health insurance.