Newly formed Kentucky Health Cooperative gets OK to offer plans in state’s health insurance exchange

The new Kentucky Health Cooperative‘s health-insurance plans have received approval from the state Department of Insurance and will be available on Kentucky’s insurance exchange market when it opens in October.

“This is a red-letter day for Kentuckians,” Janie Miller, CEO of the cooperative, said in a news release. “Although health-care cooperatives have offered quality care and lower overhead expenses to members since the 1930s, they’re the ‘newest kid’ on Kentucky’s health insurance block. Efforts are underway to help the public become familiar with the cooperative concept.” The cooperative was formed with a mixture of private capital and federal loans.

Miller, a former secretary of the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said the cooperative is like member-owned and member-operated credit unions, rural electric cooperatives and food co-ops. “Think agriculture cooperative extension offices, and consider the impact such organizations have made,” she said. “Doing so makes it easy to imagine the potential, similar value to the citizens of our Commonwealth offered by a health cooperative.”

Joe Smith, chair of the cooperative’s board of directors, said “A gateway has been opened to individuals and small businesses seeking more affordable, consumer-friendly, quality-driven health insurance options.”

Details about the cooperative plans offered to individuals and businesses with 50 or fewer employees on the nw state insurance exchange will be announced in the coming months. (Read more at the KYHC website)

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