The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services made the decision to call in the loans to the Vermont Health CO-OP, forcing the nonprofit insurer to close.
"It's certainly a disappointment. It's very sad for all of us here who have worked very hard to try and get this to come to fruition and very sad for Vermonters that they now won't have this option in the marketplace in the future," said Christine Oliver, CEO of the Vermont Health CO-OP.
The nonprofit opened last fall and tried to become a member of the new health care exchange. Each state has the option of offering the co-op model for health insurance, but the Department of Financial Regulation says this co-op was not adequate and wouldn't be able to compete.
But Oliver says the CO-OP would have attracted Vermonters looking for another option.
"As we know with competition in general, it really does change the landscape. It requires others in that competition to be both more innovative," Oliver said.
Right now, residents have two options through the Vermont Health Connect-- MVP or Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation says all insurance companies go through the same application process, nonprofit and for profit. But In May, the state denied the CO-OP's license to offer insurance, citing high rates and an unstable business model. Now, the CO-OP is required to pay back all loans immediately.
"The solvency loans we drew on will just be wired back to CMS, the $9.8 million that people keep hearing about, the startup funding that we received in loan format, as well. We will use the remainder of what we have left to settle our claims with vendors," Oliver said.
Oliver hopes her colleagues can continue serving Vermonters in other ways. The shutdown means the co-op's 12 employees will lose their jobs. Vermont also has plans to implement a new health care system in the future-- Green Mountain Care. This will be a single-payer system, meaning it's paid for by the government. That system will go into effect in 2017.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>