Iowa's Co-Opportunity Was Among The First Of Several Healthcare Startups To Fail

Dec 25, 2015

A year ago, Iowans enrolled in the healthcare startup Co-Opportunity found out they were losing their healthcare coverage. Since then a dozen of these so-called “co-ops” that were funded by the federal government have failed.

The Affordable Care Act had set aside funding for these so-called health co-ops. They enabled organizations to compete in places where there weren’t many insurers.  Most of the 120-thousand members on Co-Opportunity Health were able to find new coverage in the first 90 days of its collapse, according to Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart.  He says most individuals got insurance through Coventry on the ACA’s exchange.

Gerhart says he expected other co-ops to have trouble.

“At the time we had said we didn’t think we were going to be the only one,” he says. “Now I didn’t think it’d be 12, but I’m not surprised there were more after Co-Opportunity.”

Co-Opportunity collapsed because it wound up covering both a larger and sicker pool of Iowans and Nebraskans than they expected.