Louisiana Health Insurance Co-op to Shut Down Voluntarily

A nonprofit cooperative formed to provide health insurance in Louisiana is on the way to shutting down.

Louisiana Health Cooperative said it will honor all in-force policies for the approximately 17,000 individuals that currently receive health insurance coverage from the Co-Op. It won’t offer coverage in 2016.

The co-op offered coverage through the federal health care marketplace. Its CEO, state Rep. Greg Cromer, said the co-op was not growing enough to stay healthy.

The co-op says its customers will be able to shop for new coverage from other companies during the open enrollment period later this year to avoid a coverage lapse.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says his office is monitoring the situation and working to make sure the company has the financial ability to pay claims to its policy holders.

“We are committed to all of those impacted by this decision, and we have capital allocated to fulfill all financial obligations through and following the end of the year, including staffing, provider funds and our other obligations,” Cromer said in a news release.

Insurance Department spokeswoman Ileana Ledet said companies tentatively set to offer policies on the federal marketplace for the next enrollment period include Blue Cross and its related companies, as well as Humana, United Health Care and Vantage.