Crain's Chicago Business, February 13, 2012

As policymakers and business leaders brainstorm ideas for bringing down health care costs, the concept of a health insurance cooperative is gaining more attention. The federal health care law provides competitive grants for groups to start a so-called Consumer Oriented and Operated Plan, which would act as a corporate entity overseen by a board of directors. The goal for the federal CO-OP is to provide greater choice and higher-quality care at a reduced cost. At least one organization in Illinois, the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC)—an advocacy group for hospitals and other area health providers including Northwestern Medical Center, the Advocate Health Care Network, the University of Chicago Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center and more—has applied for a federal CO-OP grant.

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