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Co-ops the underdog in health insurance marketplace

USA Today, January 20, 2014

Consumer-run health insurance cooperatives, which were included in the Affordable Care Act to stimulate competition and lower prices, have been stymied by the insurance industry and a lack of publicity, industry and health care experts say. The consumer-operated and run insurance companies, called co-ops, are often funded by government loans. Cooperatives can sell their policies through the state and federal health insurance exchanges where Americans can buy coverage. The co-ops have been created by consumer groups, doctors, membership associations — such as for small businesses — and other non-profit organizations with the idea that they will vote on a board made up of the co-op's enrollees in the first year.