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Health and Medicine

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
Open enrollment for health plans from the Affordable Care Act starts Saturday

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell expects a better enrollment period than last year, in part because of increased competition.
Courtesy of ANDY CHOW
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Open enrollment for health plans from the Affordable Care Act starts Saturday, and Ohioans will have more options this year. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Lewis Wallace reports something called “co-op” health plans will make their debut.
LISTEN: Thomas explains co-op model

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This year the number of companies offering insurance on Ohio’s exchange jumped from 12 to 16. The newbies include Dayton-based Premier Health, and a co-op called InHealth Mutual.

Co-op actually stands for consumer operated and oriented. InHealth CEO Jesse Thomas says it’s an alternative model.

“I’ve often thought about us as co-ops being very much like the credit union of health insurance," Thomas says. "We are really owned by policy-holders, we are governed by policy holders, and we don’t look to make a profit like the for-profit companies that are publicly traded.”

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, created a loan program to fund these customer-owned health plans. But many have been slow to get off the ground. Thomas says InHealth will offer services in all 88 counties of Ohio.

People can go to to look at prices. And you might want to start shopping now, because this year’s open enrollment period is shorter—just three months.

Listener Comments:

The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement.

Posted by: Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson (New York, NY) on November 14, 2014 10:11AM
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