A Health Co-Op Doing It Right

health co-opWith news revolving around health co-ops that are closing their doors at the end of this year it’s nice to hear about one that are confident about keeping their doors open. U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner asked, “Has Colorado HealthOp been meeting its application projections, or has it been placed on boosted oversight by your agency?” A rather poignant questions, but one that has to be asked as yet another co-op in New York is ordered to stop writing new business and close its doors after current policies expire.

A nice reprieve to the constant news of co-ops closing was Colorado HealthOp’s CEO Julia Hutchins saying, “Things are going really great. We’re in a really good position to be able to pay taxpayers back.”  Quite a difference to the $277 million tax payer dollars that we have seen thrown to the wind with the closing of Louisiana, Nevada, Iowa, and Nebraska’s cooperatives.

One thing that Colorado Health Op has done well is to slowly edge into the market learning from their mistakes along the way. Their first year they only enrolled 14,000 compared to the 80,000 they insured this year. It will be exciting to see their numbers for 2016, and as DesignTM Health is a Colorado based company we are routing for their success. In 2016 Colorado HealthOp’s premium rates are going up more than they would like, but that’s exactly what will keep their doors open. The raise in premium will keep them competitive to other health plan prices in Colorado. They won’t be the second lowest silver plan in the state this year, but their premiums will remain relatively low. The second lowest silver plan dictates how much financial assistance you are eligible for.

Even though Colorado Health Op lost $23 million in 2014, much more than the $5.6 million projected, they are only projecting a $2.8 million dollar loss this year. It will be intriguing to see the numbers in the New Year. What are your thoughts on the losses taken this year for Colorado Health Op? Do you think they will be within range of their projections?

The full Denver Post article can be read HERE

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