The Universal Health Care Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to help create the HealthyCT Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP). The CO-OP will be a non-profit, member-governed health insurance plan designed to compete primarily in the individual and small group health insurance markets.
The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act calls for the creation of at least one CO-OP health insurance option in each state which is to be sold in the Exchange marketplace in 2014. “It is very clear that the values of HealthyCT align closely with the values the Universal Health Care Foundation has been representing for years. We are proud to have them as a partner and this funding sends a strong signal that what we are trying to achieve is in the best interest of patients and small businesses from border to border,” said Dr. David S. Katz, HealthyCT Board president.
The Connecticut State Medical Society and the Connecticut State Medical Society Independent Practice Association are partnering to create the CO-OP. The grant from the Foundation will go to the Connecticut State Medical Society Physicians Health and Education Fund to help develop HealthyCT’s delivery system changes and payment reforms. “The physicians of CSMS have been working side by side with the Universal Health Care Foundation for years to achieve our shared goal of improved access to quality medical care for all Connecticut citizens,” said Michael M. Krinsky, MD, CSMS president. “This funding signifies that UHCF views HealthyCT the way we do: as a different vehicle that will allow us to accomplish many of the same things we have tried to achieve through state legislation.”
The CSMS and the CSMS-IPA are planning to file an application for a loan with the federal government in order to receive monies available through the Affordable Care Act. “The CO-OP is designed to both promote quality and contain cost,” said Frances G. Padilla, executive vice president of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. “HealthyCT will push innovation at the medical practice level, integrally involving providers in adopting change and innovation.” Padilla, who serves on the governor’s SustiNet Health Care Cabinet, which is responsible for developing a plan to offer alternatives to for-profit insurance on the exchange, said, “The Foundation hasn’t abandoned the idea of creating a public option in Connecticut, however HealthyCT aligns closely with the goals and vision of SustiNet. The more quality, affordable options available to consumers, the more value the Exchange marketplace will have.”