Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc. won't be issuing or renewing individual health benefit policies on the Maryland Health Connection for the 2017 plan year, Maryland regulators announced Thursday.
Evergreen, a start-up health maintenance organization that began as a nonprofit, is working to become a for-profit company.
“After many months of working closely with Evergreen management, leadership at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and outside investors to find a workable solution, we have run out of time to meet the deadline for a Jan. 1 effective date,” said Al Redmer, Maryland's insurance commissioner. “We remain committed to a viable, competitive insurance industry in Maryland.”
Tracy Imm, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Insurance Administration, said Evergreen has 6,000 consumers on the Maryland health exchange. About 4,000 will be switched to Kaiser Permanente, and 2,000 will move to CareFirst, she said. About 3,000 consumers who bought insurance directly from Evergreen or brokers will need to find a new plan, Imm said.
Group policies remain in effect until the policy renewal date.
Dr. Peter Beilenson, Evergreen's CEO, said Evergreen's conversion from a nonprofit co-op to a for-profit company is moving forward.
“When the conversion is done, Evergreen will be in a much stronger financial position than we have ever been and, as a result, even better able than before to provide the high-quality, affordable services that our members have come to expect from us,” Beilenson said in a statement.
Evergreen is one of the 23 nonprofit co-ops created nationwide by the Affordable Care Act. Only six, including Evergreen, remain.