Maryland insurance co-op Evergreen Health to be liquidated
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Evergreen Health, one of a handful of remaining insurance co-operatives created under the Affordable Care Act, is being liquidated after a judge ruled the company is insolvent.
The Baltimore-based co-op's insurance policies will be canceled at the end of the month, according to a court order issued by the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
Evergreen Health's members will be allowed to choose a new plan during a 30-day special enrollment period that began Sept. 1. The company had about 25,000 members in small and large group plans as of May. It did not sell individual policies in 2017.
Evergreen Health is one of the 23 co-ops launched with ACA funding. With its closing, just four co-ops are slated to sell individual coverage on the ACA exchanges in 2018.
Evergreen was initially considered one of the few successful co-ops, but it was hammered by the ACA's risk-adjustment program, which shuffles money from plans with healthier enrollees to those with sicker ones. Small insurers have often criticized the program for favoring larger companies with more claims experience.
Evergreen was required to pay $24.2 million in risk-adjustment payments for 2015. It sued the federal government to block those payments, to no avail. For 2016, Evergreen was required to pay $9.4 million into the program.
Sinking under those losses, Evergreen was kicked out of Maryland's individual health insurance marketplace in 2017. It then sought to convert itself into a for-profit insurer. But the investors that had signed on to acquire Evergreen backed out in July. After that, the company was placed into Maryland's receivership program, where its operations would be slowly shut down.
Baltimore City Circuit Judge Yolanda Tanner last week approved the receiver's request to speed up the liquidation process.
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