COOP Health Insurance Plan to ensure Affordability and Quality

As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal government provided grant funding to interested states to develop a COOP insurance product for their state Marketplace (Exchange). This COOP insurance company must be a non-profit corporation with half of its Board of Directors represented by consumers. This option was agreed to by Congress as a compromise when a “federal option” on Marketplace/Exchanges was rejected by Congress. The COOP plans are to facilitate market competition by assuring an affordable, quality option on Exchanges for low and middle income consumers. The federal dollars are for start- up costs only and the COOPs must have a business plan that guarantees financial stability in the future.

Michigan applied for and received a federal grant to develop a COOP for its Marketplace/Exchange. It has completed its development work and should be listed as an insurance option on our Exchange when enrollment begins on October 1, 2013 with the other 13 options on the Exchange. The company is Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan. Actual coverage for all new customers enrolled on the Exchange will begin January 1, 2013.

There are 14 companies who have submitted plans for the Marketplace/Exchange in Michigan. They are: Alliance Health and Life Insurance Company; Blue Care Network; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan (COOP); Health Alliance Plan; Humana Medical Plan of Michigan; McLaren Health Plan; Meridian Health Plan of Michigan, Inc.; Molina Healthcare of Michigan; Physicians Health Plan; Priority Health; Priority Health Insurance Company; Total Health Care USA and United Healthcare Life Insurance Company.

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) will be announcing the names of the above companies who are qualified for the Exchange and their pricing information prior to October 1, 2013.