Many Americans face the challenge of how to afford their medical bills and health insurance. The cooperative movement has revolutionized healthcare by enabling patients to enroll in co-op health plans.
Health insurance cooperatives save patients money on healthcare. Unlike typical insurance companies, a healthcare co-op does not pursue profit or have external stockholders. All revenue is allocated to the members, creating an inclusive, empowering way to maintain good health.
Most healthcare co-ops serve specific groups of people, like United Ag for farmers in California or HealthPartners for small businesses in Minnesota. As more patients enroll in a co-op’s health plan, costs are spread out among more members, which drives down the amount that each member has to pay.
Key Facts About Healthcare Co-ops
Healthcare co-ops operate on a local, state or national level to meet the needs of its members. Below are several key facts:
- 23 health insurance cooperatives were launched in 2012 as part of the Affordable Care Act
- Minnesota-based HealthPartners serves 1.2 million members and employs 26,000 people nationwide
- Over 1,000 member organizations are in United Ag’s network
- Examples of healthcare co-ops include HealthPartners, United Ag and Mountain Health CO-OP.
What Is a Healthcare Co-op?
Health insurance cooperatives are owned and operated by the patients they insure. Thousands of member-owners share the cost of care. As the co-op’s revenue grows, members benefit from lower medical expenses and better bargaining power with healthcare providers.
Patients in a healthcare co-op receive medical services and prescriptions at an affordable price. Each co-op focuses on improving its members’ health and well-being — not increasing profits to pay executives and external shareholders.
More healthcare entrepreneurs are building cooperative companies to launch innovative healthcare solutions. Health insurance co-ops help lower medical costs and empower patients to choose the best health plan for their family.
Global Cooperative Associations
Around the world, cooperative alliances support healthcare cooperatives and defend the co-op business model:
- Cooperative Development Foundation
- International Co-operative Alliance
- Cooperatives for a Better World
NCBA CLUSA Advocates for Healthcare Co-ops
At NCBA CLUSA, we believe cooperative enterprise is a trusted, proven way to do business and build community. We envision a world where people have the resources and authority to foster well-being for themselves and future generations.
That’s why NCBA CLUSA has worked with members and partners for more than 100 years to advocate for cooperatives around the world. By focusing on local decision-making and empowerment, we advance economic opportunities and build healthy and resilient communities.
Have any questions before joining? Contact us online and let us know what’s on your mind.