Baltimore, Maryland – Representatives from Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc. joined today with Maryland health officials, advocates, and elected officials to announce that Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc. has received a $65 million loan from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to operate a new health insurance “CO-OP” in Maryland.
CO-OPs (Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans) were included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act to encourage states to innovatively expand health insurance coverage across the country. The federal loan enables Evergreen Health Cooperative to begin operations as a new, affordable, quality and consumer?oriented insurance option for Marylanders after two years of research, development, and fundraising. The company will offer insurance through the state’s new health insurance “Exchange,” Maryland Health Connection, when it opens for business in October 2013, with coverage beginning on January 1, 2014. In addition to offering health plans through state Exchanges, CO-OPs may also offer health plans outside of Exchanges.
The main target market for Evergreen Health Cooperative will be Marylanders in low to middle income brackets who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid yet not enough to afford private insurance “The Affordable Care Act will give families and small businesses greater control and choice over their health care. This HHS grant coming to Maryland through Evergreen Health Cooperative is a vote of confidence in our state’s Health Care Exchange and will afford Marylanders even greater flexibility in choosing coverage,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin.
“We are thrilled to receive this funding and make the Evergreen Health Cooperative a reality,” says Dr. Peter Beilenson, Founder of Evergreen Health Cooperative. “Ultimately, the goal is to make health care more available and affordable for those who need it most – working families. The Evergreen model provides each member with affordable and quality health care in a promising model not seen before in Maryland.” The plan will also be available to those in Maryland who currently have insurance yet are seeking new insurance options in the state’s revamped health marketplace.