A multi-state health insurance coop has announced a partnership with a group of 50 hospitals and 160 clinics across the state to provide insurance plans in the state exchange under the federal health insurance law. CoOportunity health CEO, David Lyons, says they are teaming up with the University of Iowa Health Alliance.
“We are authorized at the federal level and license in Iowa and Nebraska at the state level,” Lyons says. “And our goal is to increase consumer choice and consumer representation in the development and sale of new health insurance options.” Those who buy the co-opportunity plans would have to seek treatment at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, or other hospitals in the alliance that include the Genesis Health System in Davenport, Mercy Cedar Rapids and Mercy Health Network in Des Moines.
Lyons says the goal is to cut the cost of insurance plans by giving consumers another choice. “It allows us also to implement policies that are designed to tightly tie what we’re trying to accomplish on behalf of consumers with what providers are trying to accomplish on behalf of their patients. So we’re partnered very tightly between consumers and providers on the increasing the quality care and reducing its cost,” Lyons says.
University of Iowa Health Alliance executive director, Dan Kueter, says it comes down to offering more choices for consumers. “It’s really the combination of multiple provider network configurations with multiple product configurations, all of which are designed to strengthen the relationship with a patient and his or her physician,” Kueter says. “That’s really at the core of what is interested in.”
Lyons believes they will be ready once the insurance exchanges are put in place in October. “We are moving forward now with the filing of those policies and rate approval. We believe that we have an opportunity to be in the marketplace for individuals and small groups with these policy designs actively marketing this fall. And for our business with the initial start date of January first 2014,” according to Lyons.
Lyons is a former state insurance commissioner. The hospitals in the alliance would cover the state’s largest cities, including Des Moines, Davenport, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Dubuque, and Mason City.
You can find out more at: www.cooportunityhealth.com.