Another ObamaCare start-up insurer folds, whither Nevada’s?

Louisiana Health Cooperative, one of 23 co-ops set up under ObamaCare, has announced it will close by the end of the year, the second to do. Earlier, the co-op covering Iowa and Nebraska closed.

The nonprofit co-ops were established with $3 billion in federal loan guarantees. The Louisiana co-0p got $66.5 billion of that but lost $5.7 million in2014.

Nevada Health Co-op also got a $66 million loan, but, according to The American Spectator, it lost $20 million this past year.

The June article pointed out some of the problems with the Nevada co-op:

Nevada health co-op has another problem in addition to sky-high salaries, nepotism. Nevada Health CO-OP is top-heavy with members of the long-troubled UNITE HERE union, which represents casino workers in the state and has been accused of corruption by other union officials.

Tom Zumtobell, the co-op’s CEO, received $414,000 in 2013. He is a former UNITE Here vice president and lives in Reno, 450 miles from the co-op’s Las Vegas headquarters. Kathy Silver received $377,000 as the co-op’s treasurer. Silver is the former board president of the local UNITE HERE chapter.

Bobbette Bond, the co-op’s secretary, hauled in $222,000. She was UNITE HERE’s chief lobbyist. Her husband is Donald “D” Taylor, UNITE HERE’s national president and a director of the co-op.

Currently Nevada Health Co-op is seeking double-digit increases in premiums in 2016, according to HealthCare.gov. Most policies list 14 or 15 percent hikes but one seeks 27 percent.

Earlier this year Standard & Poor’s identified the co-ops suffering the worst capital ratios are those in Illinois, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Maryland.

As for the much hyped claim about ObamaCare cutting costs, Investor’s Business Daily reports national health spending jumped 5.5 percent in 2014 — spending by the federal government jumped 10.1 percent and 3.5 percent in the private sector.

“The finding runs counter to repeated boasts by President Obama that ObamaCare had ushered in the lowest rate of health spending growth in decades,” IBD noted.

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20 comments on “Another ObamaCare start-up insurer folds, whither Nevada’s?

  1. john says:

    Not surprising that the NV organization is accused of nepotism, excessive payments to executives and just crappy operations — but it’s too bad.

  2. Steve says:

    Nevada Heath Coop was the only insurer on Healthcare.gov that my wife’s doctor was listed as a provider. I got her a silver plan that almost matched the employer insurance we will lose at the end of this month.
    She gets to keep her doctor, for now. And I will need to get a standalone vision plan for her some time in the near future.
    Nevada Health Coop is looking for almost 14% increase on her plan premium.

    This is for Rincon, the plan my wife will have on 1/Aug is one very much like the employer sponsored plan. Copays are applied to the deductible and we do not have to pay the whole deductible before the insurance takes over.
    The bronze plans I looked at for me (should I not have other employment) are as you described and I even found one that my portion of the premium is one dollar a month….I bet you chose one of the low premium bronze plans rather than a higher priced silver plan. For my wife, the higher priced silver plan makes sense due to her prescription costs alone. We actually pay less with that than it would cost to buy the prescriptions outright under the limited coverage a low cost bronze plan provides.
    Several of the subcontractors I have worked with are actually self employed and obtain their own insurance on Healthcare.gov and they all told me it cost more (because they are bringing in solid income and pay their own taxes so the subsidies are small or non existent) since they tried to match the coverage they had prior to ACA implementation instead of opting for the lower cost higher out of pocket bronze plans the government wants everyone to take.

    ACA leaves a 3 month window for getting coverage so I will select the most basic bronze plan when the time comes. We have the special condition due to the downsize.
    Funny thing, inheritance money is not a part of the MAGI so the subsidy is bigger than our portion of the premium and we are paying only about the same as we did for the employer sponsored insurance.
    Unless I find other employment by next year, my MAGI will consist only of the required distribution from the inherited IRA, they will pay for the whole thing or try to push us onto medicaid!
    (The inheritance added several years to my ability to live without work, but I would rather have Mom back)

    This story, Tom, makes me wonder how long Nevada Health Co-op will remain in operation and what effect it will have on us when that time comes.

  3. That was the reason for brining it up, though the union has a lot of clout and money. Maybe it will survive for a while longer.

  4. Rincon says:

    “As for the much hyped claim about ObamaCare cutting costs, Investor’s Business Daily reports national health spending jumped 5.5 percent in 2014 — spending by the federal government jumped 10.1 percent and 3.5 percent in the private sector.”

    According to your own source, the increase in health care spending is less that in 2002, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7. They didn’t show anything prior to that. I guess the glass is half empty. As I’m fond of pointing out, hardly the predicted tsunami of increasing costs Conservatives expected. BTW, growth in 2013 was the smallest since they began keeping records 50 years ago. I guess it’s like climate change. If the recent data supports the conservative view more than the entirety of the data, ignore all but the most recent.

  5. Steve says:

    The increases have not been approved yet but with a couple other Coop’s failing I bet they will be.
    My wife’s doctor was one of those who tried to go cash only and get people to pay him $2,000 a year for direct access to him and his services. Seems that failed and he appears to be fully involved in the ACA now.

    I consider myself conservative in many ways, though reality is we have to go where the wind blows.

  6. nyp says:

    I am glad that you and your family now have health insurance alternatives where you cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

  7. Steve says:

    You did not read my post Nyp.

    I have a 3 month window where no coverage is required. I do not currently have any coverage for myself.
    I would have purchased insurance for my wife ACA or no ACA.

    Pre existing condition clauses could have been eliminated without all the rest of the bloatlaw in ACA.

  8. Rincon says:

    Unfortunately, Conservatives had no such intentions prior to Obamacare.

  9. Steve says:

    High blood pressure, allergies and pain management are not considered a pre existing conditions.
    My wife would have had insurance ACA or not.

    So I get to live nice on my inheritance money and your taxpayers get to cover half of my wife’s premiums!
    Party on! (while keeping my conservative eye on my budget)

  10. nyp says:

    “Most Americans who signed up for coverage on the federally run health insurance marketplaces had more choice of health plans in 2015 compared with the previous year, and the increased competition helped hold down the growth in premiums, according to a report released Thursday by federal officials. In 2015, 86 percent of consumers could choose from plans offered by at least three insurers, up from 70 percent in 2014. Premiums increased an average of just 2 percent for one of the most popular types of plans between 2014 and 2015.” http://tinyurl.com/oql9q2l

    What a disaster.

  11. “Enrollment data shows that 10.2 million people had signed up and paid premiums as of March. Of those, 6.4 million are receiving subsidies to help them pay for private insurance in the states that are relying on the federal marketplaces. The size of the subsidies depends on income. The average subsidy is $272 per month.”

  12. nyp says:

    That is absolutely right. Thank goodness so many millions of Americans now have health insurance protection for their families, and how sad that the Republicans are determined to take that away from them.

    By the way, if you receive health insurance through your employer you are already receiving a hefty taxpayer subsidy.

  13. Spoken like a true socialist…

  14. nyp says:

    Not as socialist as Medicare!

    In any event, you are willing to take health insurance protection away from millions of American families. I am not.

  15. Rincon says:

    The old system was just as socialist. As we had discussed, no one went without medical care. The difference is that then, the hospitals (read: other patients) paid for those who were bankrupt. Today, more is paid by all of us equally and I suspect there are fewer bankruptcies from medical expenses.

  16. Rincon says:

    Don’t get me wrong. Obamacare sucks…but our previous system was even worse.

  17. nyp says:

    Tens of millions of American families now have health insurance. Healthcare inflation has been cut dramatically. People like the insurance they get on the private market exchanges. Job growth continues. All of the predictions of doom by conservatives have been disproven.

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