- Hours before a House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health hearing on the failing co-ops yesterday, Consumers Mutual Insurances of Michigan posted they will no longer sell health plans in 2016.
- This marks the 12th of the 23 nonprofit health cooperatives to cease selling health coverage in 2016.
- In a FAQ section on the insurer's website, consumers are advised to purchase insurance from another company prior to Dec.15 to have coverage by Jan. 1, 2016, and all contracts between the insurer and providers are valid through the end of 2015.
The committee met to discuss the failing cooperative program. Many accusations were bandied about, according to media reports.
"Only in Washington would a group of bureaucrats think they knew how to micromanage 'competition' instead of letting consumers and markets do what they do best," said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) as quoted by The Sacramento Bee.
CMS COO Dr. Mandy Cohen, as quoted in The New York Times, stated, “Any startup faces the inherent risks of building a business from the ground up…As with any new set of business ventures, come co-ops have succeeded while others have encountered more challenges.”
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) was quoted in Modern Healthcare as stating, “The co-ops haven't failed because they don’t have enough money…The co-ops have failed because they have people running them who don’t know how to run insurance companies.”
It sounds like it was a productive meeting.
Maryland co-op Evergreen Health Cooperative CEO Peter Beilenson recently told Healthcare Dive the co-ops left standing by Nov. 1 should be in it for the long haul. However, that might not be the complete case given the Michigan’s decision to stop selling plans in 2016.
Will another fall?