Arizona health insurance co-op to close by year's end

Meritus Health Partners, Arizona's nonprofit health insurance co-op, will shut down all operations on Dec. 31 after failing to come up with additional financial support, according to Tucson News Now.

Meritus Health Partner is one the of the 23 health insurance co-ops created under the Affordable Care Act, about half of which have failed. Now, Meritus Health Partners' 59,000 enrollees must find a new insurer for 2016.

Here are four things to know about the closing of Arizona's co-op.

1. Meritus CEO Tom Zumtobel announced the co-op would close nearly a month after the state Department of Insurance suspended it from selling new policies or renewing current ones, according to the report.

2. Approximately 48,000 Arizonians are enrolled in Meritus plans sold through the marketplace, with another 10,000 state residents enrolled in Meritus plans sold outside of the marketplace, according to the report.

3. Current Meritus enrollees will remain covered until Dec. 31, and claims through that date are expected to be paid, according Jack Cheevers, a communications director for CMS.

4. Meritus customers have a special enrollment period that allows them to enroll for a new health plan as late as Dec. 31 for coverage beginning Jan. 1. The final deadline for current Meritus enrollees for 2016 coverage is March 1.

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