Nonprofit insurers struggle in new marketplaces

Apr 2, 2014 11:22 AM

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Numerous options and lower prices for consumers were supposed to be hallmarks of President Barack Obama's landmark health care law, thanks to predicted competition in the insurance marketplaces.

The federal government even loaned out $2 billion to create 23 consumer-run, co-op insurers.

But the co-ops and smaller nonprofits in some states have watched as many of the more than 7 million people who signed up for insurance chose big-name insurers instead, leaving them with minuscule shares of the market.

The paltry signup rates raise questions about the financial viability of the entities and whether the competition and affordability envisioned by the Obama administration could be jeopardized.

But some of the co-ops and smaller nonprofits are expanding their business models and looking forward to the next open enrollment period in November.

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