State Regulators Defend Vt. Health CO-OP Decision
State regulators are defending their decision to reject the Vermont Health CO-OP's application to sell insurance.
The Affordable Care Act provides federal loans to newly formed member-owned health care cooperatives, and to date, the Vermont Health CO-OP has received just over $30 million.
The CO-OP also needs a state license to sell insurance and company officials said they were stunned to learn this week that their application had been rejected.
They immediately asked the commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, Susan Donegan, to reconsider their application using new information.
Donegan says the CO-OP is free to submit a new application but she says it’s not going to be easy for the group to overturn her initial rejection.
“This is a very tough road for them,” said Donegan. “When we say you can file a new application you have to have an entity before us that would show us it would be a radically different entity not a company that looks similar to the company that we just rejected.”
The Vermont Health CO-OP claimed that their application was rejected because the Department used inaccurate rate information.
But Donegan says the CO-OP's problems go far beyond their rate structure.
“This is a holistic approach to an insurance company,” said Donegan. “It’s not just what the rates are it’s about how the company is run and what is going to be the type of company that’s in the marketplace for Vermonters.”
CO-OP officials say they are pulling together the information that’s needed to address the Commissioner’s concerns and they hope to submit the new information within the framework of their current application.