Are CO-OPs Doomed to Fail?

Over on FierceHealthPayer is asking the question: Are Co-Ops doomed to fail? She notes that of the 24 Co-Ops now open for business, one has closed, another is struggling and at least nine other startup insurance companies are projected to have financial problems.

Where they not designed with enough financial support, or are there other problems at work? – See more at


Lower Health Insurance Premiums in CO-OP States

States with new member-owned CO-OP health plans as part of Obamacare have premiums that are more than 8 percent lower than states that don’t, a new study shows.

The Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, with startup money loaned by the health care law, have zero or very few customers yet, given all the problems with the sign-up system. But they are going toe-to-toe with traditional insurers on the exchanges in 22 states, introducing new competition to insurance markets.And there’s some early evidence that they may be helping to lower costs.

CO-OPs aren’t the only new insurers operating on the exchanges. Some markets, including New York, attracted other new players, too. And the whole exchange system is designed to spur competition because plans are battling head-to-head for customers who will be able to compare apples-to-apples offerings — assuming the exchanges are able to work through their early technology woes.

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CO-OPs Aim to Transform Health Insurance Business

Twenty-four start-up companies hope to compete alongside big insurers when the health insurance exchanges open on Oct. 1. But these consumer oriented and operated plans (CO-OPs) created under the reform law also aim for even bigger goals, namely changing the health insurance business.

Since CO-OPs aren’t beholden to shareholders, they can freely build their companies from the ground up while engaging members and realigning provider reimbursements.

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Member-Governed, Kentucky Health Cooperative to Revolutionize Health Insurance

LOUISVILLE (Sept. 3, 2013) – A revolutionary new model for health insurance has arrived in Kentucky.

There has never been anything like Kentucky Health Cooperative, Inc., an all-new, nonprofit health insurance provider based in Louisville. Open enrollment begins Oct. 1. The CO-OP will offer a variety of plans for individuals and small businesses – all at competitive prices.  Its new plans are set to begin paying benefits on Jan. 1, 2014.

Kentucky Health Cooperative’s products will be available on kynect, Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection. Kynect is the commonwealth’s new health insurance marketplace, allowing consumers to compare and select insurance plans.  There consumers will find out if they qualify for payment assistance, special discounts or tax credits to help cover the costs of coverage for themselves, their families or their employees.

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