A Kentucky not-for-profit that emerged as one of the largest insurance providers on the state's health exchange has given notice that it won't offer plans for 2016, a decision affecting tens of thousands of customers ahead of the next enrollment period starting in a few weeks.
The decision by Kentucky Health Cooperative, which operates in all 120 Kentucky counties, set off another round of political bickering over the federal healthcare overhaul and its impact on the state as Kentuckians prepare to elect a new governor on Nov. 3.
State health officials said Friday that current policyholders with Kentucky Health Cooperative will continue being covered through their existing policies, most of which expire Dec. 31, 2015. The company currently serves about 51,000 members.
But the cooperative notified state health officials that it will not offer plans when the 2016 open enrollment period begins Nov. 1 to purchase private health plans on Kynect, the state's health exchange. The enrollment period runs through next Jan. 31.
Kentucky Health Cooperative's interim CEO, Glenn Jennings, said the insurer "came up short" of where it needed to be.
The company had received federal loans to help it stay afloat. Jennings said the decision to stop offering plans resulted from the company not receiving federal funding on which it had relied. The cooperative's losses reached about $50 million in 2014 but had been whittled to $4 million by 2015, according to the plan.