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March 2012 St@teside

Seven Nonprofit Health Insurance Cooperatives Receive Awards under the ACA

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced its first round of loans to seven consumer operated and oriented plans (CO-OPs) covering eight states.  The loans are authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the creation of new private nonprofit plans to promote competition in the insurance market by offering coverage options both inside and outside a state health insurance exchange. In December 2011, CMS issued a final rule on the implementation of CO-OPs.

The following award winners received a total of $638.7 million:

  • Midwest Members Health received $112.6 million and will provide coverage throughout Iowa and Nebraska;
  • Montana Health Cooperative received $58.1 million;
  • Freelancers CO-OP of New Jersey received $107.2 million;
  • New Mexico Health Connections received $70.4 million;
  • Freelancers Health Service Corporation received $174.4 million and will provide coverage in New York;
  • Freelancers CO-OP of Oregon received $59.5 million; and
  • Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative received $56.4 million and will provide coverage in Wisconsin.

CMS is encouraged by the large number of CO-OP applications and hopes to establish a CO-OP in every state and the District of Columbia.