Over 400,000 people now enrolled in CO-OP health insurance plans

NASHCO releases aggregate enrollment figures from its 23 member CO-OPs


WASHINGTON – Well over 400,000 people have enrolled in CO-OP health insurance plans, the National Alliance of State Health CO-OPs announced today. The figures were released a week after President Obama announced that 8 million people have enrolled in Marketplace plans; an announcement he made just after meeting with CO-OPs, NASHCO leadership, and other insurers at the White House.


“NASHCO is thrilled with our member CO-OPs’ initial first-year enrollment figures,” said Dr. Martin Hickey, Chair of NASHCO’s Board and President and CEO of New Mexico Health Connections. “These numbers show that CO-OPs are indeed making a real impact on the health insurance marketplaces in their states. However, enrollment is only one part of the success story for CO-OPs. Health insurance CO-OPs are driving innovation, competition, and affordability in their individual states. With our members excited about offering plans in 2015 and three additional states set to welcome CO-OPs next year, the milestones and impact of CO-OPs will only continue to grow.”


In addition to enrolling over 400,000 people, CO-OPs are making an impact on other areas of the Affordable Care Act. A study of available premium rates found that states with a CO-OP had premium rates that were, on average, about 9% lower than states without a CO-OP. Savings realized from lower premiums could be in the billions for both consumers and the taxpayer as a result of fewer subsidies paid out, according to one analysis. A McKinsey report determined that CO-OPs offered the most products among all new insurance companies in the Marketplaces, creating more choices for consumers. The same report found that CO-OPs offered 37% of the lowest priced-plans in the states in which they operate, and were the most likely of all insurers to have plans within 10% of the lowest-priced option.


“CO-OPs also offer consumers a new opportunity to have a direct say in what kind of health plans they have,” NASHCO Executive Director and CEO Dr. Jan VanRiper said. “CO-OPs around the country are gearing up for board elections, and at least 50% of the governing seats will go to consumers of each health plan, making CO-OPs highly responsive to customer needs and preferences. This indeed represents a new choice for consumers.”


Based in Washington, DC, the National Alliance of State Health CO-OPs is the trade association for the non-profit health insurance CO-OP industry. NASHCO was formed after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and was designed to promote the development and success of health insurance CO-OPs. All 23 health insurance CO-OPs are members of NASHCO. In the last three years, NASHCO has hosted multiple conferences to bring together those interested in the innovations and member governance models of CO-OPs, including health care policy experts, administration officials and congressional staff, health care industry professionals, and employer groups and consumer advocates. For more information, visit nashco.org.