Insurance commissioner puts HealthOP on tight leash, requires special fund

Insurance commissioner puts HealthOP on tight leash, requires special fund | Health News Colorado

“We feel really well positioned to make positive change in Colorado. Our financials look good. We’re doing better than projections. We met our membership targets,” said Julia Hutchins, CEO of the HealthOP, a member-governed, nonprofit health care cooperative.

But Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar told a legislative oversight committee recently that she is closely scrutinizing the HealthOP. She has had her financial experts review the co-op’s finances and is continuing to do so on a monthly basis.

“I am on top of that and am watching them extremely closely,” Salazar told lawmakers during a hearing of the legislative review committee for Colorado’s health exchange on Friday. “This is a special case. They were set up to disrupt the market. In a sense, they have really done that.”

The HealthOP shook up the market last year when managers cut rates dramatically across the state, thereby reducing tax subsidies for nearly everyone who bought insurance through the exchange. The HealthOP scooped up 40 percent of the exchange market for 2015, selling plans to more customers than any other health insurance company, including Kaiser Permanente and other established insurance giants. Some critics accused the HealthOP of intentionally pricing low to buy up market share.

If you are a CoHealthOp client, you should read the remainder of the article. It’s not quite as doom and gloom as this excerpt but there’s little doubt there will be rate increases in 2016.

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