Scrutiny falls on failed ObamaCare co-op

New York state is investigating the failed ObamaCare nonprofit health insurer there over “inaccurate” financial representations to the government. 

The insurer, Health Republic, is one of 12 out of 23 ObamaCare non-profit health insurers known as co-ops that are shutting down because of financial problems.

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Now, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) is also investigating Health Republic’s financial reporting. 

“NYDFS investigators are collecting and reviewing evidence relating to Health Republic's substantial underreporting to NYDFS of its financial obligations,” the state said in a statement. “Among other issues, the investigation will examine the causes of the inaccurate representations to NYDFS regarding the company’s financial condition.”

The co-op responds that it has been transparent. 

“We have been working closely and transparently with our state and federal regulators since our inception, including monthly regulatory filings and numerous meetings to discuss potential avenues to improve our financial position," Health Republic said in a statement. 

Republicans have seized on the recent string of failures in ObamaCare co-ops as evidence of the health law’s failings. Backers of the law have pointed out that Congress repeatedly cut the funding for the co-op program. 

New York also announced steps aimed at helping the roughly 200,000 Health Republic customers who will be losing their plan at the end of November. 

The state is setting up a special customer service call center to help customers enroll in a new plan. If customers do not enroll by Nov. 30, the state will automatically enroll them in another plan so that they don’t lose coverage, although customers can opt out of this auto-enrollment if they want. 

“We will continue to take aggressive action to protect consumers in the wake of Health Republic’s failure,” said Anthony Albanese, New York’s acting superintendent of financial services. 

This post was updated at 4:23 p.m.