Obamacare keeps adding more bad news. Utah’s Insurance Department has announced that it will pay $10 million to health providers to cover debts from Arches Health Plan, a company formed to provide health insurance under Obamacare.
Desert News reported that Arches Health Plan shut down in October 2015 due to a “severe shortfall in expected federal funding.” It was Utah’s only co-op health plan in Utah and left 45,000 people without coverage.
It opened in 2013 and began coverage in January 2014. But the nonprofit organization decided to close its doors after it did not receive money “from the federal ‘risk corridor’ program, which was built into the Affordable Care Act and intended to protect insurance companies from their losses.”
Tricia Schumann, chief marketing and communications officer with Arches, said that the group expected at least $30 million for that “risk corridor.”
But in October 2015, the group said “that only 12.6 percent of the expected windfall from that risk management fund would be awarded to insurance companies.” Desert News continued:
“Honestly, if this had not occurred, we were in a very good trend moving forward, and it was a complete surprise to us,” she [Schumann] said. “We did not know the federal corridor program would not pay out 100 percent until the first of October.”
Arches now has an unanticipated $27 million cash shortfall on its books as a direct result, Schumann said, but will be able to meet all of its obligations on current plans. She urged health care providers to honor Arches insurance plans for the remainder of 2015, saying they will be compensated.
Well, Arches owes service providers more than $36 million and $90 million to the federal government along with “$2 million in unpaid debts to insurance agents and unpaid advertising costs.”
The insurance department will dole out the $10 million over the course of six months. Spokesman Steve Gooch said that the department will hand out the money by “date of service with earlier medical services being paid for first, and that no one provider or one type of claim is otherwise prioritized over another.”
Earlier this month, Utah received more bad news when Molina Healthcare decided to exit Obamacare offerings in the state along with Wisconsin. From Forbes:
“We are disappointed with our bottom-line results for this quarter and have taken aggressive and urgent steps to substantially improve our financial performance going forward,” said Joseph White, Molina’s chief financial officer and interim chief executive officer. “Following a thorough review of our business operations, we have begun to implement a company-wide restructuring plan that we expect will reduce annualized run-rate expenses by between $300 million and $400 million by late 2018 when fully implemented, with approximately $200 million of these run-rate reductions expected to be achieved by the end of 2017 and in time for full realization in 2018.”
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