State to seize control of Ohio insurance co-op

InHealth Mutual, the struggling health insurance co-op that provides coverage to nearly 22,000 Ohioans, has been taken over by the state. According to the Ohio Department of Insurance, the co-op doesn't have enough money to cover claims and stay in business, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

"Our examination of the company's financials made it clear that the company's losses would prevent it from paying future claims should its operations continue," said Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor (R), who also serves as director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, according to the report.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Kim Brown approved the department's request to liquidate the co-op, which will in turn transfer authority to the state of Ohio to handle claims while it gradually closes down the company's operations, according to the report.

Policyholders must still pay their premiums under the order, and providers must continue to honor their contract for service. The state has advised policyholders who want to keep their premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act to visit the federal insurance exchange within the next 60 days to find a replacement plan, according to the report.

The federal government ramped up oversight over the co-op last fall after it reported a $9.1 million loss for the first six months of fiscal year 2015, according to the report.

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