Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative is a Wisconsin non-profit member governed cooperative dedicated to providing affordable, innovative health insurance solutions to small businesses, non-profits and individuals in Wisconsin. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative’s vision is to strengthen the common good of the individual and small group market in Wisconsin. With commitments of affordable premium rates, provider payment structures that reward cost control and quality, transparency of cost and quality of providers, and a prompt and accurate payment structure, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will achieve overall better health care for its members.
Common Ground is a non-profit (501c3) organization made up of 44 member organizations including congregations, small business owners, non-profit organizations, civic organizations and other groups interested in tackling tough social and economic issues facing Southeast Wisconsin. Common Ground developed Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative as a separate entity with a separate management team and board of directors to serve those who struggle to provide affordable health insurance for themselves and their employees.
Section 1322 of the Federal Affordable Care Act created the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program to foster the creation of new consumer-governed, private, nonprofit health insurance issuers, known as CO-OPs in every state by providing loans to start their businesses. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative completed a lengthy application which demonstrated their ability to create and sustain (1) consumer operation, control, and focus; (2) solvency and financial stability of coverage; and (3) care coordination, quality and efficiency. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative was the only cooperative based in the state of Wisconsin to receive the funding.
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will serve individuals and small employers in Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Milwaukee, Oconto, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Shawano, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, and Winnebago counties.
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, launched in February 2012, is on track to enroll interested individuals and small employers in their health insurance products beginning October 1, 2013 for coverage that goes into effect January 1, 2014
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will be governed by its members which means members are directly involved in the financial and benefit decisions made by the cooperative. When you enroll in other commercial insurance plans, you have no say in the decisions that affect your health care. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will be governed by a board of directors, all of whom must be elected by a majority vote of Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative’s members.
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative announced March 11, 2013 it received their Certificate of Authority from the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. The certificate brings the insurance cooperative one-step closer to providing innovative health insurance solutions to southeastern Wisconsin.
Any individual, non-profit or small business will become a member when they purchase health insurance through Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative.
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative leaders are dedicated to offering the most competitive prices possible and to keep annual
premium increases as low as possible.
Due to the Federal Affordable Care Act, there are numerous provisions that will take effect January 1, 2014 which will impact how insurance carriers will rate their products. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will be required to abide by all of these provisions.
No, this is not a government program. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative is a private, non-profit, insurance company. Several successful health insurance cooperatives currently exist around the country. However, the establishment of additional health insurance member-based organizations has been impeded by the difficulty of obtaining start-up capital and meeting reserve requirements under current market conditions. The CO-OP program was designed to help overcome this barrier to entry in the health insurance market by providing Start-up Loans and Solvency Loans to assist them with meeting State solvency requirements. The loans must be repaid to the federal government.
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will monitor any changes to the Affordable Care Act and any developments specific to Wisconsin and will respond as appropriate in the event modifications are required. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will continue operations regardless how the Affordable Care Act gets changed.
Any revenue surplus will be used to lower premiums, improve benefits, or for other programs intended to improve the quality of health care delivered to its members. It may be used to expand enrollment, or otherwise contribute to the stability of coverage offered by Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative. Decisions regarding the use of any revenue surplus will be made by the board of directors elected by Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative members.
Unlike other initiatives for small employers and individuals, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will not be contracting with an existing for-profit health insurance company to buy insurance and create a purchasing pool. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will be the insurance carrier and with its non-profit, member governed structure, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will provide quality plans that are affordable, coordinated, and responsive. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative leaders have a strong vision for improving the health of members and for controlling the health care costs of its members which are the key factors to control premiums.
Unfortunately, all health insurance is risky. Right now, your risk includes high-premium increases, decreased benefits and the loss of coverage. With Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, you are part of a member governed cooperative where your interests are also the primary interests of the cooperative, because you and the other members are the cooperative. You make the decisions.
Yes, if he or she holds a current Wisconsin health insurance license and is approved and appointed by Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative after the Cooperative obtains its insurance license.
Open enrollment will begin October 1, 2013 and coverage will become effective January 1, 2014. Enrollment will be continuous throughout the year so prospective members can enroll on January 1, 2014 or after. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative Holds Educational Seminars in May and June.
Like all other health insurance companies, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will be required to abide by the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Starting in 2014, the ACA requires insurance companies to provide coverage to everyone, regardless of health status; therefore no one can be denied insurance due to medical conditions.
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will not be offering a Medicare Supplement plan to those 65 or over. If you work for a small employer who is a Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative member and you are over 65 years old, you are eligible.