Co-op Care: a program of Universal Health Care Action Network of MN:
Co-op Care’s cooperative health insurance business model is sponsored byUniversal Health Care Action Network‐MN, a community‐based, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. We partner with community members and professionals in strategic planning and development, with experience ranging from cooperatives to health insurance.
The high cost of health insurance, driven by large, profit-driven HMOs, leaves 250,000 Minnesotans uninsured, 1,000,000 underinsured, 12,000 medically bankrupt, and hundreds whose lives are cut short for lack of adequate coverage (Institute Of Medicine Report, 1999). Minnesota needs an alternative affordable solution. We are, thus, creating Co-op Care, Minnesota’s first large-scale, non-profit, cooperative health insurance pool to serve people. The pool is open to individuals, uninsured, co-ops, small to mid-size businesses, and non-profits.
Our goals are fourfold:
1. To create a large-scale, self-insured cooperative pool without HMO middlemen.
2. Contract directly with our own practitioner networks of hospitals and clinics.
3. Expand affordable coverage for the uninsured and under-insured to access quality care.
4. Promote team-based coordinated care to improve the health of our members and the community
125,000 Minnesotans now face unprecedented HMO premium rate hikes of 50-67% (25% in 2016), forcing
most of these individuals and families in neighborhoods across MN to struggle to pay for, or go without ,health insurance, while MN’s big insurers – Blue Cross, Medica, HealthPartners, UCare, Preferred One – retain exceptionally high profit reserves (MN Health Mkt Review, 2016, p. 23).
This became the number one issue of the 2017 state legislature, as legislators’ phones were inundated with calls. Moreover, the potential for repeal of the Affordable Care Act which provides substantial insurance premium subsidies for an additional 63,000 Minnesotans (MN House Rsch, MNsure 2016), is yet another reason for concern. Despite minimal, one-time, premium relief, we can’t count on legislatures, neither state nor federal, to solve the ongoing health insurance crisis.
Fortunately, this has sparked a groundswell of interest in seeking cooperative, community-based ways to pool resources and group purchase health insurance. Community-based self-funding of health insurance can ultimately cut-out the middlemen “managed care” insurers, and the Co-op Care model is a great starting point.
Personal Stories: we also need to document your personal stories of skyrocketing premiums, high deductibles, insurers dropping people from coverage, etc . Click Contact us at top of this homepage to communicate your personal story or concern.
Co-op Care: A Prairie HEALTH Companion proposes to be Minnesota’s first large-scale, non-profit, cooperative health insurance pool for individuals, uninsured, co-ops, small businesses, and non-profits. Unlike profit-driven HMOs, our goal is to serve people based on need, and improve the health of our members and the community.