nevada health co-op to cease operations in 2016 due to market conditions

LAS VEGAS (August 26, 2015) – The Board of Directors of the Nevada Health CO-OP has voted to cease operations beginning January 1, 2016 due to market conditions. At the same time, the Board voted to continue serving members through the end of the year to protect the health insurance of its current membership. Since the closure is voluntary, it should have minimal impact to members and providers.

“It is with deep sadness that based on challenging market conditions, the Board made a painful decision to wind down operations of the Nevada co-op at the end of this year,” said CO-OP Member and Board Director Stacey Hatfield. “Rather than spending resources on next year’s uncertain market, we would rather make sure we protect our current members. This is all about providing the most affordable, effective health insurance and service possible.”

NHC is committed to honoring its individual plans throughout the 2015 plan year to avoid disruption to members and providers. Members will be able to choose 2016 coverage with other carriers when open enrollment begins November 1, 2015. Because non-exchange employer groups can change coverage outside of open enrollment, NHC will work with employer groups who wish to identify alternative coverage prior to the end of the year.

Members’ policies will remain in effect.  Members can continue to see plan providers and claims will be paid under the terms of the plan. As always, members will need to pay premiums in accordance with plan rules for their coverage to remain in effect.

“With a second year of high claims costs and limited opportunities for new investment, it has become clear that the amount of growth required to provide quality care at reasonable rates will be unlikely in the next plan year,” said NHC CEO Pam Egan. “NHC is working responsibly and pro-actively with the Nevada Division of Insurance and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ensure that we meet all deadlines and fulfill obligations to our current members.”

The not-for-profit Nevada Health CO-OP was formed to provide a consumer-centered health insurance option in the Nevada market. NHC enrolled 14,000 members in 2014 and had significant growth in 2015. However, future growth projections are not large enough to ensure continued successful operations.

“My family and I became members of the Nevada Health CO-OP when it first started,” said Hatfield. “I am proud to be a part of the CO-OP`s vision to remove barriers to quality health care for Nevada families; get people to better care, faster;  drive down costs and improve health outcomes. A big part of that vision is to responsibly protect our members, providers, dedicated staff and community stakeholders. We made a hard decision, but a responsible one. ”

About the CO-OP

The Nevada Health CO-OP was formed in 2012 and began providing coverage in 2014. NHC’s charge is to create more robust competition in the market to improve cost and delivery of health services across Nevada communities.

Allen Lester