Innovations of the Month: Colorado HealthOP

In our latest “Innovations of the Month”, we focus on Colorado HealthOP and its engagement with its members and the broader community throughout Colorado. This post was originally included in the October 6th version of News from NASHCO, which can be found by clicking here.


Like many CO-OPs, Colorado HealthOP places a high priority on being actively engaged in its community. That was certainly the case this summer, when the CO-OP traveled around Colorado to learn what healthcare issues are most important to its members and the local communities. The information collected at these events will be used to aid the Board of Directors and staff to set priorities and improve the member experience.

The theme for these events varied in each location based on the health data and health priorities for each county. Colorado HealthOP staff partnered with other organizations such as Health Links Colorado and Walk Denver.


2014-06-28 08 32 36Throughout the summer, Coloradans in 10 cities attended the Listening Tour to provide their feedback about the health of their community and share their thoughts for the role that Colorado HealthOP can play.

Board members joined outreach staff to give a brief overview of Colorado HealthOP and the role of members in the governance of the CO-OP. Staff then led an interactive discussion with attendees asking probing questions to learn what health issues were the most important to them.

The CO-OP learned that the biggest barriers to facilitating healthy changes in Colorado are varied and unique to individuals and communities. However, mental health resources and the overall cost of healthcare were the two leading issues.

Colorado HealthOP wants members to help them identify and address these issues and transform the healthcare industry. By relying on the passion and personal experience of their members, Colorado HealthOP wants to rock the health insurance boat.

In addition to collecting member feedback, Colorado HealthOP is currently holding elections for their Board of Directors, which will be comprised mostly of their members. To prepare for the Board election, CO-OP staff had 187 one-on-one conversations with potential Board members and recruited 38 applicants. The number of applicants acceded Colorado HealthOP’s goal by nearly 250%.

The CO-OP is required to get 8 percent of their membership to vote in the election. To help meet this need, Colorado HealthOP will be holding phone bank sessions. The new Board of Directors will be announced at Colorado HealthOP’s annual meeting on Thursday, Oct. 23.