The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed regulations for the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program – an initiative that is supposed to create a new type of nonprofit, consumer-governed health insurer.

The CO-OP provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA)  is supposed to create a federal program that will provide startup loans for the CO-OPs. The provision prohibits any entity that was selling insurance in 2009 from becoming a CO-OP

In general, the program would provide loans to foster the creation of consumer-governed, private, nonprofit health insurance issuers to offer qualified health plans in the state health insurance exchanges.

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