Agreement allows Moda to keep selling health insurance in Alaska

first_imgDownload AudioThe Division of Insurance announced an agreement with insurer Moda Health Monday, that will allow the company to stay on the individual and group markets in Alaska. Division director Lori Wing-Heier says Moda’s CEO signed the consent agreement this weekend.“We worked very hard to get to this agreement, to protect consumers but also to get them back into the marketplace to take care of those who enjoy doing business with Moda,” she said. “To provide competition on the exchange and that the company doing business is solvent.”The agreement requires Moda to sell some assets to raise capital. The company will also have to establish a reserve account in Alaska with $15 million, to pay claims if Moda runs into financial trouble again.Late last month, Oregon and Alaska placed Moda under supervision and suspended the company from selling plans because of excessive operating losses.At that time, the company thought it would have to exit Alaska’s individual market. Jason Gootee is director of Alaska sales and service for Moda.“Our first thought on that was in order to remain financially sound it was going to be a necessary step we would have to take,” Gootee said. “But we were able to work out a deal with the regulators in Alaska and Oregon to maintain the individual market in those two states for at least the rest of 2016 which I think is certainly a win for consumers.”Gootee says it’s too soon to tell whether the company can continue on Alaska’s individual market for 2017. Moda is working with Premera Alaska on a plan to stabilize rates on the state’s individual market. That proposal will require legislative action.The open enrollment period for individual plans on healthcare.gov closed January 31st. Wing-Heier says she’s asking the federal government to open a two week special enrollment period to accommodate Alaskans who were unable to buy Moda plans.“We know there are people that had finished their enrollment and then got to a point where they could not pay or couldn’t finalize it,” she said. “And for those people who are kind of in a limbo, we’re hoping CMS will give us a two week window to… choose Moda as their insurer.”Wing-Heier says if Moda does not follow through on the consent agreement, Oregon, where Moda is based, will put the company into receivership.This story is part of a reporting partnership between APRN, NPR and Kaiser Health News.The state answers a list of frequently asked questions about the Moda situation here.last_img

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