Rep. Chris Gibson (R) is calling for the state comptroller to investigate Health Republic, the nation’s largest, and New York’s only Obamacare co-op.
Health Republic of New York had been ordered shut down by state regulators last month. The insurer’s finances were so dismal that officials announced they will have to be shut down in under two weeks leaving roughly 215,000 customers scrambling to find new, potentially less affordable plans.
Gibson wants an investigation into what happened, and leveled criticism at Governor Cuomo for a lack of oversight into the failed co-op.
Via State of Politics:
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli should investigate the closure of Health Republic, a co-op in the state’s health exchange that has struggled financially, Rep. Chris Gibson on Thursday said in a conference call with reporters.
Gibson sharply criticized the Cuomo administration for oversight at the exchange and said he was concerned other co-ops formed as part of the Affordable Care Act have run into similar trouble seen with Health Republic.
“If this trend continues it’s going to be very destabilizing for the entire market,” he said. “We need to know what happened.”
He also called on the governor’s office “to more engaged, immediately” on the issue.
“This is a state program that the federal taxpayers have made significant investments,” Gibson said.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave $355 million in low-cost loans to Health Republic, and managed to turn that into an $80 million loss.
A press release from the Department of Financial Services urges Health Republic customers to find new plans “on or before November 15th,” causing anxiety for hundreds of thousands of insured.
Gibson is widely considered to be a Republican candidate for governor of New York in 2016.