By Allison Bell
Twenty-three new nonprofit, member-owned health plans opened their doors this week.
The “Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans
” are out beating the bushes for enrollees. The first coverage sold will take effect in 2014.
The National Alliance of State Health CO-OPs, the plans’ trade group, said one of its member plans, Oregon’s Health CO-OP, signed its first members a few minutes after midnight Tuesday.
Most CO-OPs are emphasizing that they want to sell coverage through brokers.
In Oregon, for example, the Cover Oregon exchange enrollment website will not be up and running for a few more weeks. But Oregonians who want coverage can sign up directly through the CO-OP’s website – and through brokers.
Meritus Health Partners, the Arizona CO-OP, has a broker link near the top of its home page, which leads to a broker application page. The CO-OP requires a would-be broker to fill in a national producer number, an Arizona insurance license number, a federal tax ID number, an errors and omissions carrier policy number, and the E&O policy expiration date. The broker also must upload an individual exchange and small-group exchange curriculum completion certificate along with an E&O insurance certificate.
Colorado HealthOP signed Warner Pacific as its first broker agent in May.
Louisiana Health Cooperative boasts that it offers “Real insurance for real people,” and a link at the top of its home page explains how agents and brokers can get welcome packets and appointment numbers.
A CO-OP is supposed to sell coverage through its state’s PPACA public exchange. It can serve the individual and small-group markets, and it’s also allowed some large-group customers.
Traditional for-profit or nonprofit carriers cannot own or control a CO-OP, and law forbids CO-OP managers from converting a CO-OP to for-profit status.
A CO-OP can serve more than one state, and a state can have more than one CO-OP.
CoOpportunity Health, for example, is serving both Iowa and Nebraska, and two CO-OPs are serving Oregon.
Some of the states with CO-OPs are the same states that have set up their own state-based exchanges. But some states with vigorous state-based exchange programs, including California, have no CO-OPs, and some states with governors who have been active opponents of PPACA, such as Louisiana and Wisconsin, do have them.
Vermont insurance regulators have blocked a group trying to organize a CO-OP in that state, and federal regulators have pulled the group’s startup funding.
Here’s a list of the active exchanges:
Arizona: Meritus Health Partners
Colorado: Colorado HealthOP
Illinois: Land of Lincoln Health
Iowa: CoOportunity Health
Kentucky: Kentucky Health Cooperative Inc.
Louisana: Louisiana Health Cooperative Inc.
Maine: Maine Community Health Options
Maryland: Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc.
Massachusetts: Minuteman Health Inc.
Michigan: Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan
Montana: Montana Health CO-OP
Nebraska: CoOportunity Health
Nevada: Nevada Health CO-OP
New Jersey: Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey
New Mexico: New Mexico Health Connections
New York: Health Republic Insurance of New York
Ohio: InHealth Mutual
Oregon: Oregon’s Health CO-OP and Health Republic Insurance of Oregon
South Carolina: Consumers’ Choice Health Plan
Tennessee: Community Health Alliance Mutual Insurance
Utah: Arches Health Plan
Wisconsin: Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative
Originally published on LifeHealthPro.com