Obamacare Co-op Flops Have Many Running for Coverage

When Amy Grech, a freelance Web consultant and horror story author in New York, was looking for health insurance, a broker pushed her toward Health Republic, the state’s co-op under Obamacare. It had the doctors she needed, and the price seemed right.

Now, two years later, she has had to scramble to find another insurer because Health Republic announced that it was closing shop and wouldn’t make it even to the end of the year, forcing roughly 200,000 New Yorkers out of their plans and back onto the market.

“It’s kind of annoying,” the 43-year-old Brooklyn resident said. She has settled on a more-established plan that has expanded its network and now covers all of her doctors, giving her the assurances she wants.

“Myself, personally, I prefer a brand I’m familiar with,” she said.

The co-ops were supposed to be the happy face of health care — user-friendly, noncorporate plans offered as part of the Obamacare’s exchanges, designed to convince consumers skeptical of major insurance companies that there was a real alternative for them in President Obama’s signature health care law.