Kentucky Launches New Model for Health Insurance

Oct 6, 2013

The Kentucky Health Cooperative touts itself as a new kind of health insurance from a new kind of insurance company. 

It's a non-profit based in Louisville and the board of directors is comprised mostly of customers.  Communications Director Susan Dunlap says the co-op is responsible only to members.

"Any surplus revenues that are earned would not go back to shareholders, as would be the case for a publicly traded company," explains Dunlap.  "In that case, surplus funds would go back to improving member health benefits, it might be used to reduce premium levels, or be invested in programs intended to improve health care quality that the members would benefit from."

Dunlap says the co-op offers coverage in all 120 counties of the state and has a national network of providers through First Health, as well as contract with UK Healthcare. 

Kentucky is one of 24 states that created co-ops under the Affordable Care Act and received millions of dollars in federal loans for start-up and operational costs. 

Dunlap says she isn't sure how many Kentuckians have signed up for the co-op since enrollment began last week.   The Kentucky Health Cooperative can be accessed on the state's health exchange website Kynect.