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August 27, 2015

With Cash Dwindling, Nonprofit Nev. Obamacare Co-Op to Close

Nevada Health CO-OP, one of 23 federally funded nonprofit insurers established under the Affordable Care Act to compete with traditional providers, will shut down at the end of the year after racking up tens of millions of dollars in losses, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The announcement Wednesday adds to a run of bad news for the member-run health co-ops, most of which have struggled with red ink and fallen short of enrollment goals, casting doubt on their ability to repay $2.4 billion in federal start-up loans. A co-op serving Iowans and Nebraskans closed earlier this year, unable to pay higher-than-anticipated coverage costs, and Louisiana's shuttered last month.

Pam Egan, chief executive of the Nevada organization, said high claims costs and limited projections for growth made it clear the co-op would not be able to provide "quality care at reasonable rates" into 2016. The nonprofit insurer, launched in 2012 with $65.9 million in federal loans, reported a $19.3 million operating loss in 2014 and was $22.7 million in the red for the first half of this year.