Community Health Options (CHO) is a Co-Op, how are they different from regular health insurance companies?
Answer: They are basically the same.
Co-ops are health insurance companies run by members for members, similar to credit unions.
They were created through the Affordable Care Act in 2010 to increase competition among health insurers and to provide consumers with greater choice in the marketplace.
These plans were initially established in 24 states through low-interest loans funded by tax dollars, but the vast majority of the CO-OPs failed in their first few years of operation.
As of 2018, only four CO-OPs have survived to offer coverage to consumers in five states for 2018 and CHO in Maine is one of them.
Community Health Option is a Co-Op
Community Health Options (CHO) began selling plans in 2013.
At one point, CHO was the only profitable co-op in the country. That changed in 2015 when CHO’s insurance claims were higher than expected and it began losing money.
Some of my clients have expressed concerns about CHO’s finances but the Maine state Bureau of Insurance has been closely monitoring Community Health Options since early in 2016 and has been publishing monthly reports on CHO’s status which show they are performing well.
You can review the monthly reports here.