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Cutler, Population Health and Health Policy


Consumer-Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) programs are intended to create nonprofit health insurance issuers that would offer health plans to individual and small group markets. Part of the Affordable Care Act, CO-OPs could have a substantial effect on rural healthcare delivery systems. In this Brief, authors Jean Talbot and Andy Coburn of the Maine Rural Health Research Center at the University of Southern Maine provide an overview of the CO-OP program legislation from the Affordable Care Act; identify the challenges to obtaining private health insurance in rural areas; and assess the opportunities and challenges of using the CO-OP program to address the limitations of the rural private health insurance market.

Dr. Coburn participated in a webinar on this topic co-hosted by the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) with the State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE).


SHARE is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supporting research on health reform issues as they relate to state implementation of the Affordable Care Act.



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