Federal health officials are barring Arizona’s nonprofit Obamacare health insurance co-op from transforming itself into a for-profit company, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
Earlier this year, Arizona’s Meritus Health Partners, a non-profit set up under Obamacare, had only $19 million left of its $93 million in federal funding. Its officers sought to change its status to a for-profit company in order to attract private capital, according to Healthcare Dive, an online health newsletter.
But Obamacare officials in Washington, D.C. tell TheDCNF it is illegal to convert an Obamacare non-profit co-op into a for-profit enterprise.
Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid that manages Obamacare, tells TheDCNF a rule in the original language of the Affordable Care Act bans any non-profit co-op conversion into a for-profit.
Albright directed TheDCNF to the final Obamacare rule on co-ops which states that “under the final rule, a co-op conversion into a for-profit entity is prohibited in all circumstances.”
As a result, the co-op will be closing its doors Dec. 31 and 59,000 of its customers are scrambling to find new insurance coverage by the end of the year.
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