Ventura County Health Care Plan

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Why One Insurer Quit Covered California

(Getty Images)

After initial enthusiasm, Ventura County Health Care Plan withdrew its application from the Covered California marketplace. (Getty Images)

By Dan Diamond, California Healthline

Ventura County Health Care Plan administrators won’t soon forget May 23, 2013.

That was the day that Covered California announced that VCHCP — a small, county-run plan — would join Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente and 10 other insurers in next year’s marketplace.

VCHCP put out a press release declaring it was “honored” to be part of Covered California’s inaugural crop of insurers. There was a celebratory Facebook post.

“This is a monumental day,” the county’s health care director, Robert Gonzalez, said at the time.

Behind the scenes, the plan’s leaders kept coming back to their concerns about the number of potential enrollees next year, and whether VCHCP could truly handle the influx.
But 10 weeks later, Covered California has signed contracts with a dozen insurers — and Ventura County Health Care Plan isn’t one of them. Instead, the plan announced last week that it had withdrawn from the health benefits exchange for next year; a terse press release alluded to “ongoing analysis of enrollment projections, start-up costs and certain factors whose outcome and impact are difficult to predict.”

There was no Facebook post. Continue reading