Apr 25, 2017

Zoom gets closer to full health insurance exit

Zoom CEO Dr. Dave Sanders / Zoom

Venture-backed startup Zoom said earlier in April it is exiting the entire health insurance market, and now it's officially entering voluntary receivership with the state of Oregon, spokesman Len Bergstein confirmed to Axios. The Oregon-based company began several years ago as a chain of neighborhood clinics, and it expanded into health insurance in 2015 with the hopes of becoming the next iteration of the successful Kaiser Permanente organization.

What went wrong: Zoom didn't suffer from any high-cost medical claims often found in the Affordable Care Act's exchanges. Instead, Zoom thought the uncertainty of the market since President Trump's election made things too risky, Bergstein said. He also blamed "chaotic accounting" associated with the ACA programs that mitigate risk.

What's next: Zoom's clinics and providers won't change as the insurance company winds down by the end of the year, according to an April 21 memo from Zoom CEO Dr. Dave Sanders obtained by Axios. And Zoom has $9 million in reserves to pay any remaining claims.

Between the lines: It's a pretty quick flame-out. Zoom bailed on the ACA marketplaces after just one year, and now it is giving up on health insurance altogether after roughly two years. Not exactly the type of experiment you'd expect from a system that said its goal was to "enhance human performance."

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Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health