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HHS awards new grants for healthcare co-ops

The Hill, September 4, 2012

The Health and Human Services Department announced more than $160 million in loans Friday to help establish new insurance plans under President Obama's healthcare law. The new loans went to two organizations—one in Massachusetts and one in Tennessee—to establish new, non-profit insurance carriers. The new products, known as co-ops, must reinvest their profits toward providing better care or lowering premiums, and would have to follow the same rules as traditional insurers. The Affordable Care Act initially provided $6 billion for co-ops, but Congress has cut the funding down to about $3.4 billion. HHS has now awarded more than $1.5 billion in co-op loans, covering 20 states, according to a department release.