A trade group for co-ops says the nonprofit, member-owned plans are helping to hold down coverage prices in their markets.

The National Alliance of State Health Co-ops says its 23 member plans now have 400,000 enrollees — up from none on Sept. 30, before open enrollment began.

PPACA drafters created the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan program to try to increase the level of competition in the commercial health insurance market. Co-ops are supposed to sell coverage through the exchanges mainly in the individual or small-group markets.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor's insurance editor, previously was LifeHealthPro's health insurance editor. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Think_Allison.