CMS Releases Proposed Standards for CO-OP Insurance Plans

The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services has proposed standards to encourage the creation of Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, which are private non-profit, consumer-governed health insurance plans that will help increase competition and give consumers and small businesses additional affordable health insurance choices, according to a CMS news release.

CMS is proposing standards for CO-OPs and for qualifying for $3.8 billion in repayable loans to help start-up and capitalize these new health plans. All CO-OP loans must be repaid with interest, and loans will only be made to private, nonprofit entities that demonstrate a high probability of becoming financially viable. The CO-OPs has an emphasis on consumer accountability and will be sold through each state's health insurance exchange.

CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until September 16, 2011.

Read the news release about CMS' proposed rules on CO-OPs.

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