Maryland CO-OP Health Plan Becomes a For-Profit Company

Just hours before President Trump took the oath of office, the Maryland health insurance CO-OP Evergreen Health officially closed a deal with the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) to sever its ties with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) CO-OP program. The company will now transition from a nonprofit to a for-profit company, allowing it to gain an infusion of financing from outside investors. Executives credited the deal with enabling Evergreen to survive and stay competitive. However, it also provides insight into the immense challenges involved in starting up a new insurance company in the current market, even with federal financing. Continue reading

The Failure of the ACA’s Health CO-OPs: Lessons for Policymakers

The failure of 12 of the Affordable Care Act’s CO-OP plans reveals much about the huge barriers facing new companies entering the highly concentrated health insurance market. Sabrina Corlette takes a look at some of the lessons that policymakers – and regulators with oversight over the proposed mergers in the health insurance industry – can draw from the CO-OPs’ experiences. Continue reading

The Affordable Care Act CO-OP Program: Facing Both Barriers and Opportunities for More Competitive Health Insurance Markets

The recent financial troubles of some CO-OP plans created under the Affordable Care Act have sparked questions about the long-term viability of the program. In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR experts Sabrina Corlette, Kevin Lucia, Justin Giovannelli and Sean Miskell assess the current status of the CO-OP program, challenges to success, and prospects for the future. Continue reading