Alaska, Oregon suspend Moda Health Plan activity due to financial fears

Alaska and Oregon insurance regulators suspended Moda Health Plan from accepting new or renewal policies Thursday as state officials move in to take partial control of the Portland, Ore.-based insurer, reports Portland Tribune.

The move marks a dramatic turn for the once-dominant health insurance firm. "We are encouraging people to sign up with someone other than Moda in these final days of open enrollment," Oregon insurance commissioner Laura Cali told Portland Tribune.

Both Alaska and Oregon insurance departments said their actions were prompted by Moda's excessive operating losses and inadequate capital and surplus, according to The Daily News.

The firm linked its financial struggles to the Affordable Care Act, which resulted in an influx of individuals with medical conditions who had previously been uninsured, according to an official statement from Moda spokesman Jonathan Nicholas.

Moda took a financial hit last year when almost $90 million in federal assistance funds did not materialize.

Officials assure the suspension should have minimal impact on those enrolled in Moda's group insurance plans, according to Oregon consumer and business services director Patrick Allen.

"Our primary goal is to ensure consumers are protected," Mr. Allen said. "We will continue to work closely with the company to find a sustainable path going forward while minimizing risk to consumers."

The legal order on Moda gives the insurer seven days to raise funds to boost its capital reserves to an acceptable level, repots the Tribune.

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