Mountain Health CO-OP fined

Sharon Fisher//June 18, 2018

Mountain Health CO-OP fined

Sharon Fisher//June 18, 2018

photo of department of insurance building
The Idaho Department of Insurance is housed in the Williams Building shown here in Boise. File photo.

An Idaho health insurance provider was fined $10,000 for inaccurate website information.

Mountain Health CO-OP “had represented to agents and posted on its website that certain medical providers at a regional medical facility in Idaho were within the MHC network when in actuality those providers were not,” said the Idaho Department of Insurance.

That complaint is uncommon, said Wes Trexler, product review bureau chief. “Generally, our carriers are very good about that,” he said. “Carriers are required by state law and federal law to have accurate information and update it on a regular basis.”

The mistake happened while MHC was transitioning between vendors, said Karen Early, director of marketing for the Eagle company, with 25,000 Idaho customers. “It’s extremely uncommon for insurance companies to change vendors,” she said. “We own that error. We have remedied the issue that caused it and will do everything to make sure an error like that doesn’t happen again.”

Mountain Health CO-OP was formed through the Affordable Care Act in 2014 in an effort to increase the number of players in areas that were seen as lacking competition in the health insurance market. It started in Montana.

CO-OP doesn’t mean “cooperative,” but means “consumer oriented and operated plan,” Early said. Its board of directors is primarily consumers elected from the membership.

The company recently appointed a new CEO but that is unrelated, Early said.

“They realize that many consumers did receive poor information and are working hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Trexler said.