More than 40 credit unions in Iowa and Nebraska plan to refer their customers to a new health insurance program starting Oct. 1, with coverage becoming effective in January, according to nonprofit insurer CoOpportunity Health.
The total of 44 amounts to 25 percent of Nebraska and Iowa credit unions, the company said. Together, the participating credit unions have about 367,000 members. More credit unions are joining, the Des Moines-based company said.
Like credit unions, CoOpportunity Health is a not-for-profit group, a new health insurance organization called a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan created as part of the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, with low-interest federal loans. It is one of 24 approved nationwide but the only one to serve Iowa and Nebraska.
The CO-OPs are managed by and for members. Surpluses are dedicated to increase benefits and lower premiums, similar to the way credit unions work. Insurance will be sold for individuals, families and businesses.
CoOpportunity Chief Executive David Lyons said credit union partners will refer interested customers to the company and distribute printed materials such as newsletters and pamphlets. The insurance is sold and underwritten by CoOpportunity, he said, which is licensed as an insurer in Nebraska and Iowa.
Metro-area participating credit unions include Omaha Douglas Federal Credit Union, Omaha Federal Credit Union, Neighborhood Community Federal Credit Union, Greater Omaha Federal Credit Union, Heartland Area Federal Credit Union, and Northwestern Employees Credit Union.