The third Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) open enrollment period is about to start Nov. 1, and the trickle of news about financial worries at health insurance carriers has turned into a steady flow of bad, and not-so-great news.
Consumers’ Choice Health Insurance Company, the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) carrier in South Carolina, has been the latest CO-OP to announce that it will shut its doors at the end of the year.
South Carolina’s PPACA CO-OP now has about 67,000 enrollees.
Like several other PPACA CO-OPs that have announced run-off plans in recent weeks, Consumers’ Choice has put out a statement saying that the funding shortfall at the PPACA risk corridors program has forced it out of business.
Ray Farmer, the South Carolina insurance director, said the South Carolina Department of Insurance will do everything it can to help state residents through the CO-OP shutdown process.
“Our expectation is that the company will honor its existing commitments to policyholders and health care providers as a part of winding down its operations,” Farmer said in a statement.
Consumer’s Choice is separate from South Carolina Health Cooperative, a nonprofit, member-owned group health cooperative formed outside the PPACA CO-OP program. South Carolina Health Cooperative failed at the end of 2014.
In other health carrier financial worries news:
• The Wyoming Department of Insurance said it is going to court to try to put a struggling health insurer there, WINhealth, into receivership.
The insurer had already announced plans to wind down its operations. Tom Glause, the Wyoming insurance commissioner, alleges in a petition filed Wednesday in a state court in Wyoming that WINHealth needed to have $6.5 million in surplus as of June 30 but ended June with only $3.3 million in surplus.