Arizona’s Obamacare Co-Op to Shut Down After Receiving $93.3 Million From the Government


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meritus health partner arizona


The Daily Signal by Melissa Quinn

Two days before the start of Obamacare’s open enrollment period, a nonprofit health insurance provider located in Arizona announced that it would be closing its doors, leaving more than 56,000 consumers to purchase new insurance plans.

On Friday, the Arizona Department of Insurance announced that Meritus Health Partners is winding down its operations and will no longer offer coverage in 2016. Meritus Health Partners is the 11th of 23 co-ops, or consumer-operated and oriented plans, created under Obamacare to shut its doors. The co-ops have received a combined $2.4 billion from the federal government.

Consumers currently insured by Meritus will remain covered for the rest of the year.

“[W]ith open enrollment beginning this weekend and many Meritus policyholders subject to re-enrollment, it was vital that the department step in and protect Arizona citizens,” Andy Tobin, the state director of insurance, said in a statemen.

Meritus Health Partners received $93.3 million in start-up and solvency loans from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Despite the money the co-op received, the nonprofit insurance company struggled to enroll consumers in 2014, an audit from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General found.

According to the report, just 869 Arizonans purchased plans from Meritus Health Partners by the end of 2014. The co-op had projected that it would enroll 23,998 consumers[…]

Permission to reprint granted by The Heritage Foundation.


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