Not-for-profit, member-owned and governed health cooperative will open health insurance plan enrollment in October 2013; deliver benefits beginning January 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Approval by the Kentucky Department of Insurance has resulted in the Kentucky Health Cooperative's foray into the Commonwealth of Kentucky's HMO health insurance market. Beginning in October 2013, hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians will have the opportunity to voluntarily enroll in a health plan offered by the Kentucky Health Cooperative (KYHC).
"This is a red letter day for Kentuckians," said Janie Miller, CEO of the cooperative. "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," she said.
"Think member-owned and member-operated credit unions," Miller said. "Think food and rural electric cooperatives. Think agriculture cooperative extension offices, and consider the impact such organizations have made. Doing so makes it easy to imagine the potential, similar value to the citizens of our Commonwealth offered by a health cooperative."
Board of Directors Chair Joseph E. Smith said, "By receiving approval to offer health plans to Kentuckians, a gateway has been opened to individuals and small businesses seeking more affordable, consumer-friendly, quality-driven health insurance options."
"This is a big deal," Smith added, pointing to an estimate that 15 percent of Kentuckians are uninsured.
"This approval from the Department of Insurance means that, starting Oct. 1, 2013, hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians may voluntarily select health insurance coverage from a brand-new entity, the not-for-profit Kentucky Health Cooperative," Smith said.
The CO-OP's plans will not bar people with existing conditions from receiving coverage. There will be no annual or lifetime maximum expense. Coordinated care programs and an extensive medical network contracted with health care providers following high clinical quality standards will be inherent to all KYHC plans, according to Smith.
KYHC will offer lower-cost plans in an organized, state-based insurance exchange. The organization is currently focused on building a provider network; gathering Kentuckians' insights, then using these insights to guide plan design, and establishing operational functions so that all will be ready for the Oct. 1 enrollment opportunity.
"Stay tuned," Miller said. "The Kentucky Health Cooperative looks forward in the coming weeks and months to announcing details of health insurance plans of particular benefit to individuals and businesses employing small groups," she said, adding, "We're talking 50 or fewer employees."
About the Kentucky Health Cooperative
The Kentucky Health Cooperative (KYHC), based in Louisville, is sponsored by a coalition of providers and business leaders dedicated to improving health outcomes by providing member-focused, accessible, cost-effective and quality-focused health care to individuals and small groups living in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. KYHC was identified by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to receive loans to create and operate a Consumer Oriented and Operated Plan, or CO-OP. CO-OPs are non-profit, member-owned and member-governed health insurance companies. KYHC is on track offer health plan benefits starting Jan. 1, 2014.
More information: www.mykyhc.org
Contact: Susan Dunlap
Telephone: (502) 498-5539
Mobile: (859) 492-9157
SOURCE Kentucky Health Cooperative