LEWISTON, Maine — Maine Community Health Options (MCHO) has received its official licensure from the Maine Bureau of Insurance to operate as an insurance company in Maine.
The license paves the way for the Maine-based company to become the first not-for-profit, consumer-operated and -oriented (CO-OP) health plan to provide health insurance to Maine people and businesses.
MCHO expects to make its health insurance products available to small businesses and individuals in the fall of 2013. MCHO intends to make products available through the health insurance marketplaces, as well as in the commercial insurance market. Coverage offered by MCHO will be effective Jan. 1, 2014.
“MCHO is on the map as a solution for better health and lower costs for Maine people and businesses,” Kevin Lewis, CEO of MCHO, said in a press release. “As a result of working together with providers, consumers and employers, we will offer coverage choices that produce better results for our members.”
The federal Affordable Care Act authorized the establishment of consumer-directed CO-OPs, designed to increase competition among health insurers. MCHO received a five-year, $7 million loan from the federal government to help fund start-up costs. The organization received a second $55 million, 15-year loan to adequately capitalize the CO-OP when benefit plans become available.
“MCHO will be responsive to our members and our communities,” stated James Davis, president of the MCHO board of directors. “Because net revenues get reinvested to reduce premiums and improve benefit design, our members’ success with improved health becomes our collective success.”
More information about Maine Community Health Options can be found at www.maineoptions.org. For more information about CO-OPs, visit http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/choices/co-op/index.html.
Maine Community Health Options is a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) created through a program of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). MCHO is a private, not-for-profit entity governed by a customer-based Board of Directors, which gives enrollees a strong voice in the management and development of the plan. For more information on MCHO please visit www.maineoptions.org