According to the White House, 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act and 5 million more people are covered by plans outside the Marketplace that meet the standards of the ACA. However, the White House predicts that by 2016 5.7 million people will still be without coverage. An article recently published by Compensation and Benefits Review by William (Marty) Martin of DePaul University entitled “Consumer Oriented and Operated [Health Care] Plans: An Alternative for Employers’ Sponsored Health Care” examines Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans (CO-OPs) as a new option for employers to consider for providing their workers with health insurance to be in compliance with the ObamaCare Employer Mandate.
Given the recent passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA), the current environment represents an opportunity for employers to reevaluate their approaches to health care provision. In this vein, the aim of this article is to explore a possibly significant source of innovation in the provision of health care benefits, the financing of health care coverage and the delivery of health care services: the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP), which is a new choice for employers arising from the PPACA. This article examines whether employers will continue to offer health insurance as a benefit, whether nonprofit employers will develop CO-OPs and whether all employers will encourage their employees to sign up for CO-OPs from among the health plan alternatives in the public exchanges. CO-OPs are found to be a potentially attractive health care alternative that should be considered by various types of organizations.
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