It is with deepest regret that we inform you that after coordinating with state and federal regulators regarding Kentucky Health Cooperative's operations and long-term sustainability, Kentucky Health Cooperative, (also known as "the CO-OP"), will not offer plans in 2016.
Your coverage will remain in force through December 31, 2015, however.
Some of you have contacted us about the recently-mailed Annual Notice of Changes. You've told us that you read in that mailing that the Platinum Plan will not be offered in 2015.
"You didn't say anything about going out of business, though," you have said.
True. And, there's only one reason that a winding down of our operations at the end of this year was not mentioned.
We did not know.
The CO-OP did everything possible to continue offering coverage. While we never believed that starting a nonprofit health insurance company would be easy, we thought we would be successful. In fact, we were on track. All signs pointed to a strong financial position in 2016. Funding on which we had depended upon did not come through, however. After difficult, but necessary, discussions with our Board of Directors, the Kentucky Department of Insurance and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the decision was made to stop offering plans after 2015.
For now, what does this mean to you?
You pay a premium every month, right? In exchange for doing so, you expect that you will have health insurance coverage. This is a reasonable expectation, and it is one that does not change. The fact that things have taken an unfortunate turn does not change how you should view using health coverage. Do as you would otherwise do. Get your flu shot. See a doctor. Have whatever procedure you had planned.
What if your provider is reluctant to see you on account of your coverage with Kentucky Health Cooperative?
Providers may not refuse to see you because Kentucky Health Cooperative is winding down its operations. Contracts between the CO-OP and providers remain in force through the end of the year.
Your provider must continue to offer services to you. If you are refused service by a provider listed as in our network service area, please contact the Kentucky Department of Insurance at 1-800-595-6053.
What you need to do
What does change, however, is the need to pick a health plan for 2016. You can get help doing this through our state's health insurance Marketplace, kynect (kynect.ky.gov), also called the Exchange. You can get help, too, through an insurance agent or broker. Open Enrollment begins November 1, 2015, and ends January 31, 2016.
Starting a health insurance company is a daunting task, and we gave it our best shot. We are grateful for your role in helping us grow faster than anyone had expected, and it continues to be an honor to serve you.