Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is a co-op the right model for health insurance?

Are you familiar with the co-op or cooperative model for health insurance? A co-op is a non-profit, member-run system for providing insurance plans. HealthPartners is one of the largest co-ops in the U.S. According to CNN, HealthPartners currently has a network of 70 facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin and serves more than a million members. I wonder what physician reimbursement looks like in the HealthPartners co-op model. Perhaps it's not very different from billing a commercial health plan. Could it be better?

At the end of the day, we're all looking for affordable healthcare. If you're unemployed and uninsured, you may be looking for a free option as well. So many ideas are being thrown around in the current healthcare debate. As things change, I wonder what this will do to the healthcare co-ops that are out there. You can read more about health insurance co-ops here: CNN Health article titled, " Dissecting a health care co-op"

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