A little more than 40,000 Nebraskans are looking for new health insurance with the announcement that CoOportunity Health will be liquidated.
The Iowa Insurance Commissioner has determined CoOportunity cannot be saved and must be liquidated.
Senior Vice President Sarah Waldman of Nebraska Blue Cross/Blue Shield says the company has been swamped with former CoOportunity customers seeking new health policies.
“We’ve been extremely busy in both our call center and in our enrollment area that takes the online applications through the federal facilitated marketplace or other online channels that we have,” Waldman tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “We’ve certainly been extremely busy. I know we’ve been helping thousands of customers’ transition.”
A court appointed the Iowa Insurance Commissioner as the rehabilitator for CoOportunity Health, trying to coax it back to financial health. The commissioner has determined CoOportunity cannot cover the medical claims made by its clients and must be liquidated.
A hearing on the matter is expected to take place in Iowa next month. Liquidation could take effect as early as February 28th.
CoOportunity is a health insurance cooperative created under provisions of the Affordable Care Act. It mostly serves Iowa, but has a little more than 40,000 customers in Nebraska as well.
Nebraska State Insurance Director Bruce Ramge suspended CoOportunity Health in Nebraska after the Iowa Department of Insurance took it over. He ordered the co-op to not write policies in Nebraska.
CoOportunity Health formed as a nonprofit insurance cooperative under rules established by the Affordable Care Act. Not as much federal funding flowed to the cooperative as expected and its assets plummeted from $121.5 million to $17 million, according to court documents filed in Polk County, Iowa.
An Iowa judge appointed the Iowa Insurance Commissioner to assume management of the company.
Medical claims being filed by CoOportunity clients are being paid by the state Guaranty Associations in Iowa and Nebraska.
Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act ends February 15th.