According to recent news reports, eleven more co-ops are on the verge of failure. Twenty-two of the 23 co-ops lost money in 2014 despite receiving $2.4 billion in taxpayer support. The nine that have already failed received over $1 billion combined. Not even that was enough to keep them alive.
The problems causing these failures are many but boil down to this: In an attempt to gain market share, the co-ops are offering policies at rates that don’t come close to covering Obamacare’s enormous costs. As a result, enrollment in their plans far exceeded projections, making their financial holes even worse.
The co-op shared between Iowa and Nebraska fell into this trap. Offering artificially low rates, it enrolled ten times more people than expected. This resulted in premium income far below patients’ medical claims, forcing the co-op into liquidation. Now 100,000 people will have to find other plans.