Hundreds of thousands of currently insured individuals will be forced to seek new health care coverage in 2016 due to funding issues that are forcing more than half of all health care coverage co-ops to close. An official with the Health and Human Services Department testified on Capitol Hill stating that an abundance of solvency issues are forcing 12 of the 23 nonprofit co-ops to discontinue coverage in the coming year.
During the discussion, both Democrats and Republicans argued over who was to blame for the financial instability of the co-ops. Some suggest that funding cuts pushed through by the GOP are responsible for the debacle. Others believe that it was the government's desire to micromanage competition that led to the closings instead of just allowing consumers to act as consumers do and dictate the market.
Insurance regulators are now struggling to find ways to continue health care coverage through next year. Although they have been successful keeping the co-ops running to the end of 2015, they will not be continuing past that.
Although there is an ongoing argument as to what led to so many co-ops failing, some believe that it was a simple problem of co-ops being new and inexperienced companies taking on a substantial number of enrollees in a very competitive market. It is understandable that only the strong would survive, however, the closing of so many co-ops does leave thousands without coverage in the coming year.
Some individuals may struggle to find affordable health care if they suffer from major medical issues. For these individuals planning for the future and arranging long-term care coverage may be in their best interest. Speaking to an elder law attorney can help make these arrangements and others and provide individuals with a more financially stable future.
Source: Yahoo News, "More than half of health law's insurance co-ops are closing," Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Nov. 3, 2015