Another Obamacare Co-op Bites the Dust

The hits just keep on coming!

Amid the spate of bankrupted Obamacare co-ops there was one that was still going strong.

But, now we learn, not so much.

The Associated Press reports, “Lone Profitable ACA Insurance Co-op Losing Millions.”

The lone health insurance cooperative to make money last year on the Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchanges is now losing millions and suspending individual enrollment for 2016.

Maine’s Community Health Options lost more than $17 million in the first nine months of this year, after making $10.9 million in the same period last year. A spokesman said higher-than-expected medical costs have hurt the cooperative.

The announcement casts further doubt on the future of the cooperatives, small nonprofit insurers devised during the ACA’s creation to inject competition in insurance markets. These co-ops immediately struggled to build their businesses. A dozen of the 23 created have already folded.

An Associated Press review of financial statements from 10 of the 11 surviving co-ops shows that they lost, on average, more than $21 million in the first nine months of this year. Those losses range from $3.9 million reported by Maryland’s Evergreen Health Cooperative to $50.7 million booked by Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Co. in Illinois.

“Clearly the remaining health care co-ops are in dire circumstances,” said Robert Laszewski, a health care consultant and former insurance executive who has been a frequent critic of the Affordable Care Act. “I don’t know how any of them can survive another year.”

Remember, the co-ops were designed to fail. By that I mean they were designed to embody liberal fantasies. As I wrote earlier,

The big news about UnitedHealthcare bailing on Obamacare may make people forget about the failed Obamacare cooperatives and, more importantly, why they failed. Despite the widespread belief that expert planning was involved in the Affordable Care Act, it is pretty obvious that these co-ops were thrown together as the embodiment of a bunch of Liberal/Progressive cliches. They were doomed to fail.

One or two bankruptcies might be a mistake. But this many collapses looks like it has to be something more.