Farmers Union hoping to establish insurance co-op
The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has submitted an application to the government to form a health insurance co-op for its members. The co-op model is permitted under the national Affordable Care Act.
The union’s membership includes 22,000 families across Colorado, many of whom cannot afford health insurance or pay for policies that would only cover them in emergency situations.
To establish the co-op, the union is seeking $70 million in low-interest loans, $14 million of which will be used for start-up money and must be repaid within five years, according to Lindy Wallace, president of the board overseeing the Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative Inc.
The remaining $56 million will be used to maintain solvency, Wallace said, and must be repaid after 15 years.
Rather than have profits from the co-op go to pay the salaries of executives, the money could be used to reduce premiums or expand coverage to include things like vision and dental plans, Wallace said.
Enrollees would be in majority control of the co-op’s board of
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