HealthyCT has been notified by the federal government that it will receive funding to apply for licensure as an insurer and build a new consumer-oriented health benefit plan in the state of Connecticut starting late next year. The award from the Department of Health and Human Services comes nine months after formation of HealthyCT, a non-profit entity sponsored by the Connecticut State Medical Society and the CSMS-IPA, a statewide independent practice association. HealthyCT is expected to offer health insurance products both on and off the state’s Health Insurance Exchange. This approval is accompanied by $75.8 million in federal loans to meet expected start-up expenses and reserve fund thresholds for state licensing.
A provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 1322) permits the creation of non-profit consumer operated and oriented plans (CO-OPs) to provide health insurance in the individual and small-business markets. The HealthyCT model and application focus on improving the quality, coordination and continuity of care for the citizens of Connecticut, primarily in the individual and small group markets. Although HealthyCT was sponsored by two physician organizations, it will be open to those health care practitioners and organizations that desire to work with HealthyCT and meet established criteria. As a non-profit health insurer, any surplus funds HealthyCT derives would go back into the plan to help keep premiums stable and improve the quality of care.
“The physicians and consumers who believe that there is a better way to provide health insurance coverage to Connecticut patients are thrilled that we have cleared this major hurdle,” said HealthyCT Board President David S. Katz, MD. “This affirms our conviction that taking on this challenge is the right thing to do for the citizens of Connecticut.
“Our plan withstood an exhaustive review process. We could not have met the requirements for approval without the strong support HealthyCT received from dozens of groups and individuals ranging from our Congressional Delegation to patient and consumer advocacy groups, the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut and individual physicians who voiced the need for a new kind of health insurer in Connecticut. We are deeply grateful, especially to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and Congressman Joe Courtney.”
The CO-OP will next seek to meet the state qualifications to obtain a license to offer health insurance working with the Connecticut Insurance Department. Contingent on state approval, HealthyCT is expected to begin issuing insurance in October 2013.
For more information on the CO-OP program and recent awardees, please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2012/02/coops02212012a.html