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what is a health insurance co op

It’s been a rough few years for the ACA’s Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans. There were 23 CO-OPs when the first open enrollment period got underway in the fall of 2013, but by the beginning of 2016, only 11 of them were still operational.

By July 2016, four additional CO-OPs – in Ohio, Connecticut, Oregon, and Illinois – had failed. And in September, Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey stopped offering new plans and announced that their existing plans would terminate at the end of 2016 (unlike the other CO-OPs that have failed, state regulators in New Jersey were initially saying that it might be possible for Health Republic to be rehabilitated enough to return to the market in 2018, but that ultimately was not the case, and an order of liquidation was filed in February 2017).

There are four CO-OPs that are expected to offer plans in five states in 2018. Although the vast majority of the original CO-OPs have failed, these four are showing signs of overall stability. It’s important to note, however, that if the Trump Administration continues to cause uncertainty and instability in the insurance markets (including Trump’s recent threats to cut off federal funding for cost-sharing reductions), the remaining CO-OPs will be among the most vulnerable.

A non-profit organization in which the same people who own the company are insured by the company. Cooperatives can be formed at a national, state, or local level and can include doctors, hospitals, and businesses as member-owners. Co-ops will offer insurance through the Marketplace.