U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) released a statement Monday regarding the removal of Meritus Mutual Health Partners from the federal marketplace, rendering it unable to write new or renew existing policies.
Meritus Mutual Health Partners, a non-profit health insurer under the Obamacare Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (co-op) Program, was found to have struggled with financial deficiencies following reviews both from Arizona and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Now close to 60,000 Arizonans will be force to find new coverage before their plans expire at the end of 2015, making Meritus the 11th co-op to fail—from a total of 23 established since the program commenced under two years ago, despite $2.4 billion in low-interest federal loans—leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans to research and enroll in different plans.
“The closure of Meritus Mutual Health Partners is yet another all-too-common reminder that the President’s health care experiment has failed,” said the Senators. “Instead of thoughtful reform that would have increased competition, affordability, and access, President Obama continues to champion a failed government-knows-best approach that is now responsible for thousands of Arizonans being forced to find new coverage.”
Expressing satisfaction regarding actions taken by Arizona Department of Insurance Director Andy Tobin to help Arizonans find new coverage, McCain and Flake promised to stand by and protect residents as they face this disruption.
The Senators recently sent a similar message to CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt seeking answers for the failed co-op program both in Arizona and nationwide.