Date of Award


Document Type



Public Policy and Management

First Advisor

Professor Elise Bolda


Consumer Oriented & Operated Plans, Health care options, Maine Community Health Options


As envisioned by the federal policymakers who designed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2011 (ACA), and the state-based health leaders who are founding them, Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans (CO-OPs) are intended to be a different kind of insurer: non-profit partners in health and healthcare. While many Americans (including Mainers) should welcome this new model, CO-OPs face challenges in establishing brand recognition and capturing the hearts and minds of consumers. The purpose of this research project was to support CO-OPs, particularly Maine’s CO-OP, Maine Community Health Options (MCHO), in assessing and developing communications strategies that enable individuals and small business owners to make informed decisions about health insurance options.