NextLevel Health is closing in July, CEO Dr. Cheryl Whitaker told employees during a town hall meeting today, according to an employee who was on the call.
The Chicago-based Medicaid managed care plan’s 56,000 members will be transitioned to another health plan, the employee said. NextLevel did not respond to requests for comment, nor did the Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services, which oversees Medicaid in the state.
The news comes nearly two months after NextLevel’s failed $50 million buyout.
Long Beach, Calif.-based Molina Healthcare CEO Joe Zubretsky said during a February earnings call that acquiring “financially underperforming health plans” was part of the insurance company’s growth strategy. But Molina ultimately terminated the agreement “due to the seller’s stated unwillingness to close pursuant to the terms of the acquisition agreement,” according to an April Securities & Exchange Commission filing.
At the time, NextLevel said it would “continue to seek a capital partner to help us positively impact our communities and save lives.”
Meanwhile, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a complaint against NextLevel this week in Cook County Circuit Court. The nature of the complaint isn’t clear. Crain’s was unable to obtain a copy and Raoul’s press office did not respond to numerous calls and emails. A NextLevel representative said she had not seen the complaint.
With about 56,000 enrollees, or nearly 3 percent of the market, NextLevel is one of two plans that serve Medicaid managed care members only in Cook County, and one of six private insurers contracted by the state to administer Medicaid benefits under a managed care program intended to improve care and save money.