At least 10 organizers of "CO-OP" plans have received some or all of the state regulator approvals they need to open the plans for business.
CO-OP organizers have received state permission to go into business in some states that have been hostile toward the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange program as well as some states that have welcomed the program.
PPACA originally provided $3.4 billion in federal CO-OP startup funding, or enough for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to finance the creation of a CO-OP carrier in every state. HHS approved 24 loan applications and had many more in the pipeline. In January, Congress and the Obama administration infuriated the CO-OP organizers with applications still in the HHS pipeline by suddenly eliminating any additional funding for any CO-OPs that had not already received loan commitments.
Although the funding cut has hurt CO-OP organizers in some states, the organizers with funding continue to move ahead, NASHCO officials said.