COLORADO HEALTHOP APPROVED TO OFFER CONSUMER OPERATED AND ORIENTED HEALTH INSURANCE BEGINNING OCTOBER 1
Denver, Colo. (April 29, 2013)—Colorado HealthOP, Colorado’s first statewide nonprofit health insurancecooperative, announced today that it has received a Certificate of Authority to provide health insurance from the Colorado Division of Insurance. This establishes Colorado HealthOP as an official health insurance plan, and authorizes Colorado HealthOP to provide affordable, quality coverage to individuals and employers in Colorado communities.
To earn licensure in Colorado, an insurance provider must undergo a rigorous review process to determine its potential for longevity. The Colorado Division of Insurance evaluates the organization’s business plan and financial solvency, as well as the background of its executive team and board members.
The CO-OP, which was sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Educational and Charitable Foundation, will provide a variety of health insurance options for individuals and employers in both urban and rural communities across Colorado. In its first year of operations, Colorado HealthOP will offer a statewide provider network that is as robust as those offered by other insurers.
Enrollment will begin October 1, 2013, to coincide with the availability of Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s online health insurance marketplace. Coverage will begin January 1, 2014. Plans will be available on the marketplace, through a network of brokers and agents, and on Colorado HealthOP’s website at www.back.cohealthop.org. Subsidies and financial assistance may be available through Connect for Health Colorado for individuals who qualify.
“We appreciate the Colorado Division of Insurance’s vote of confidence in Colorado HealthOP and its unique model,” said Julia Hutchins, chief executive officer of Colorado HealthOP. “We want to make healthcare better in Colorado, and licensure advances our ability to deliver affordable, quality coverage to individuals interested in making a difference in their own health and that of their community.”
Colorado HealthOP gives members a voice in the CO-OP’s operations, including what is covered under its benefit plans. When Colorado HealthOP’s revenues exceed its costs, the surplus will be reinvested to directly benefit members—through lower premiums, expanded benefits and quality improvements. The CO-OP is committed to promoting health as a way of life and will reward its members for healthy behaviors. “Colorado HealthOP is a unique, consumer-driven solution,” said U.S. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado. “Increased competition in the health insurance marketplace – particularly as the marketplace comes online in October – can only benefit Colorado. Greater access to new options will help individuals, families and employers choose plans that better suit their specific needs.”
With a local perspective and community focus, Colorado HealthOP is dedicated to partnering with doctors, hospitals, brokers and advocates statewide to create benefits and programs that will improve health at the local level. Beginning in May 2013, Colorado HealthOP will begin outreach activities in both English and Spanish to educate the community about their health insurance rights, provide tools for navigating Colorado’s insurance marketplace, and offer resources to help individuals and employers choose the best insurance option for them.