Rocky launch is more than just an inconvenience for CO-OPs
A rocky launch for health insurance marketplaces has meant little or no enrollment for some CO-OPs, forcing these start-ups to pursue new strategies for gaining customers.
Maryland’s health insurance exchange had a slow start, but once it was up and running, Maryland-based Evergreen Health, a new consumer oriented and operated plan, was left off the list of participating carriers. While the problem was fixed and the company was added to the Exchange, Evergreen is now going after customers offline, like small-business accounts, in order to secure more customers.
“It’s slowly getting better. Some people have gotten to the enrollment stage before the site freezes,” says Evergreen’s frustrated CEO, Dr. Peter Beilenson. “Once enrollments start occurring, we still don’t expect to get notification of that from the exchange until December, which makes planning for deployment of resources challenging.”
Evergreen Health is just one of 24 Consumer Oriented and Operated plans awarded low-interest loans by CMS. Many of these new CO-OPs are located in states that defaulted to the federally-facilitated marketplace which is still inflicted with major problems.