Arizona Health Insurance Co-op to Close Shop Dec. 31

Executives with Arizona’s nonprofit health insurance co-op said Tuesday that they have failed to come up with additional financial backing and the insurer plans to shut down all operations Dec. 31.

The announcement by Meritus Health Partners means 59,000 Arizonans it now covers need to find a new insurer by Dec. 15 if they want coverage on Jan. 1.

The decision comes nearly a month after the state Department of Insurance suspended its right to sell new policies or renew current ones and placed it under formal supervision. Federal officials also pulled its policies from the health insurance marketplace website late last month.

The company said current customers will continue having their claims paid through the end of the year and brokers and medical providers will be paid. A hotline to help current clients find new insurance is expected to be operating by next week.