“We’ve never understood the need to focus on bringing new entrants because there are so many insurers on the market today,” Ignagni said in a Jan. 25 interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. Still, she said, “we’ve never had a problem with competition in the market as long as people meet the same guidelines and there’s a level playing field.”d
The U.S. Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, an agency created under the health law to oversee the co-op funding, said it remains confident the program will eventually succeed.
“Two of the most important considerations for approval of co-ops were how likely they were to succeed, and their financial viability,” Barbara Smith, the center’s director, wrote in an e-mail response to questions. “We look at the co-op’s management team, their ability to assemble a provider network, their financial viability moving forward and their ability to have a relationship with the broader community.”
John Morrison, president of the National Alliance of State Health Cooperatives in Helena, Montana, said strong support from the government and the experience of people involved in the co- ops should ensure their success.
“There are a lot of people who’ve gone out on a limb supporting the co-ops,” he said in a phone interview. “If they thought that that limb was not strong, they wouldn’t be there, starting with the administration.”