BOSTON, Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Minuteman Health (www.minutemanhealth.org) today announced that its enrollment has jumped by 70 percent thus far over 2015 totals, with most of the increase occurring during the open enrollment period that began November 1 and ends on January 31.
As of January 22 Minuteman had 24,089 plan selected members in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, an increase of 9,932 members over the 14,157 members as of November 1.
With one week remaining in the open enrollment period, the membership total will likely continue to change. Last year membership for most plans continued to grow through the end of the open enrollment period.
"We've taken a long-term approach centered on managed growth, strong provider network relationships and careful financial management. The increase in membership is a solid message that we're on the right track," Minuteman CEO Thomas Policelli said. "Our core business is strong."
While membership is expected to exceed the company's 2016 enrollment expectations and the company's financial footing is strong, Policelli said Minuteman, like most other efficient and growing lower-premium carriers nationally, is struggling with a federal risk-adjustment policy that punishes such plans.
"Our only financial concern is the impact of the risk adjustment program," Policelli said. "Our medical loss ratio is in the 80s, which is very positive. We have over $90 million in cash to cover 2015 claims liability of about $6 million. But the current risk adjustment formula is the top concern."
Minuteman is currently reserving about 40 percent of premium to cover estimated potential risk adjustment payouts that may be due over the next two years. Reserving now for potential future years' payouts generates current short-term, non-cash accounting losses. Actual payout amounts will be reconciled with those estimates once final results are determined by the current federally-driven formula on June 30th of 2016 and 2017.
"We are trying to be financially prudent by booking such large risk adjustment-driven accounting losses while maintaining a strong cash position. We are also being prudent about our growth. Growth is effectively penalized under the current federal approach. Oddly, we have had to make sure that we do not grow too quickly – including by scaling back our final advertising efforts once we saw that we were on track to reach our goal of 22,000 members. In a normal regulatory environment that of course never would have been the case. We will continue to work with federal rule-makers to highlight the unintended consequences of their policies and focus on practical solutions that will deliver lower, stable premiums to consumers," Policelli said.
Minuteman Health is a member of Consumers for Health Options, Insurance Coverage in Exchanges in States (CHOICES), a national coalition of health insurers focused on the ACA's 3R programs (risk adjustment, risk corridor and reinsurance).
About Minuteman Health
Minuteman Health, Inc. is a member-governed, non-profit health maintenance organization (HMO) committed to removing inefficiencies from today's health insurance system to provide high-quality care, cut administrative costs and reduce premiums for individuals and businesses in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Any profits will be reinvested or returned to members through expanded benefits or reduced premium rates. Minuteman Health's unique member-governance structure allows members to elect the board of directors and to run for election to the board.
Minuteman Health's In-Plan Provider network includes over 9,500 hospitals, physicians, and specialists who provide high quality care at lower costs in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Updates on Minuteman Health's evolving provider network can be found at www.minutemanhealth.org.
Minuteman is marketed in Massachusetts through its website, brokers, Health Services Administrators (www.HSAinsurance.com) and the Massachusetts Health Connector. It is marketing in New Hampshire through its website, brokers, and the Federal Healthcare Exchange.
CHOICES members are non-profit as well as investor-owned, health system-sponsored and independent, and newer entrants as well as companies with decades of experience as members of their local communities. The group came together to examine what gaps may exist between the policy intent and the practical reality of the '3Rs' programs today. Such gaps are to be expected in any launch of a new methodology, and CHOICES looks forward to continuing to work productively with CMS to replace old assumptions with the current data.
CHOICES founding members include Minuteman Health, Health New England (Massachusetts), HealthyCT (Connecticut), Land of Lincoln (Illinois), Melody Health Care (Colorado), New Mexico Health Connections, and the National Alliance of State Health CO-OPS (NASHCO).
SOURCE Minuteman Health