By Mark Williams
The state has taken over a struggling health insurance cooperative based in Westerville that was set up to be a lower-cost option for Ohioans who shop the federally run health insurance marketplace.
Coordinated Health Mutual, which insures nearly 22,000 Ohioans under its InHealth Mutual brand, doesn't have enough money to cover claims and remain in business, according to the Ohio Department of Insurance. More than a third of the policyholders are in the Columbus area.
"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," Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who also is the director of the department, said in a statement.
Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Kim Brown approved the department's request to liquidate the company. The action allows the state to handle claims while it winds down company operations.
Under the order, policyholders must continue to pay their premiums, and providers must continue to honor their contract for service.
The company did not respond to a request for comment.
Last fall, the federal government said it was increasing its oversight of the company after it reported a $9.1 million loss the first six months of 2015.
The state is advising policyholders who want to keep their federal health-care subsidy to visit the federal exchange within the next 60 days to find a replacement.
The state licensed the company in 2013, and it went into business in January 2014.
(c)2016 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)