The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill to help people who lost health coverage when an insurance co-op failed.
Cong. Adrian Smith (R-NE3) sponsored the legislation, which would not penalize those who lost coverage.
“If you’re a consumer who complied with the federal mandate to obtain health insurance coverage, and your coverage was terminated midyear because the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan – or co-op – you bought your plan from collapsed, you shouldn’t be liable for the individual mandate penalty for the remainder of that calendar year,” Smith said on the House floor during final debate.
The first co-op to close was CoOportunity Health, which sold plans covering 120,000 Nebraskans and Iowans.
“Why would we penalize Americans, through no fault of their own, for losing coverage with fines that run hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars,” Smith asked his colleagues before the 258-165 vote sent it to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
Cong. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE1) and Cong. Brad Ashford (D-NE2) also voted for the measure.