Insurance co-op reports skyrocketing enrollment numbers this year
Arizona’s non-profit health insurance co-op has seen a major increase in enrollment following poor enrollment predictions in 2014. Last year, the co-op was audited by the Department of Health and Human Services, which found that enrollment numbers were abysmal, with the co-op only providing coverage for some 869 people. This is only 4% of the co-op’s enrollment target of 24,000, making it one of the worst performing health insurance co-ops in the country.
Meritus is finding traction among consumers in Arizona
Despite low enrollment last year, many consumers have begun seeking coverage through the co-op this year. Meritus, the state’s health insurance co-op, notes that enrollment rates of spiked considerably, and the insurer now provides coverage to nearly 56,000 people. The majority of the policies sold by Meritus were acquired through the federal health insurance exchange being operated in the state. Now, Meritus accounts for nearly 28% of the state’s insurance market, which is a significant improvement over what its market share was last year.
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Report highlights the difficulty associated with high premiums and the appeal of health insurance coverage
One of the reasons that co-ops throughout the country are having trouble with enrollment may be due to high premiums. A report from the Government Accountability Office noted that high premiums have driven consumers away from co-ops. The report found that the policies offered by Meritus were among the most expensive policies available in the country and this may have had a major impact on the co-op’s enrollment rates.
Meritus may be able to compete with other insurance providers if it can find a way to mitigate the cost of its coverage
In order to attract more consumers, Meritus has lowered the cost of the policies it offers for this enrollment period. The co-op is meant to compete with other health insurance companies that are vying for the favor of consumers. If Meritus can find a way to mitigate costs and losses, it may be able to achieve this goal and establish itself as a primary health insurance provider in Arizona.