Health Insurance Cooperative a Possibility for Utah

Utah could have a health insurance cooperative by 2013, if federal officials endorse the Aarches Community Health Care plan introduced today.

The idea of "Consumer Operated and Oriented Health Plans" was championed by a bipartisan group in Congress as an alternative to a publication option or government-run health plan. Because co-ops are non-profits, they have to use their surplus to lower premiums or increase benefits. Supporters believe they will make the insurance industry more transparent and accountable to consumers.

The co-op is already negotiating with providers networks for discount rates and plans ot build managed care organizations around community health clinics.

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