In March 2010, health care reform was signed into law. One important part of this new legislation was the program to create new health insurance organizations called Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs for short). In insurance industry terms, a CO-OP is just another way of saying that the company is governed by its customers and the decisions that are made are to improve services for them. Additionally, any extra revenue that the CO-OP takes in is reinvested for its customer’s benefit – by improving coverage, controlling premiums, and expanding benefits.
The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC)
The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC), a membership organization that assists more than 170 healthcare organizations that provide high quality, accessible care to their communities in the Chicago area, decided that the people of Illinois deserved a health insurance CO-OP of their own.
By creating a CO-OP in Illinois, they would be able to increase competition among insurance companies (resulting in lower prices for consumers) and provide people with a new insurance model that is focused 100% on its customers. So, with input from some of the leading insurance experts in the nation, MCHC submitted an application in November, 2011, to launch the first and only health insurance CO-OP in Illinois: Land of Lincoln Health™.
On December 21, 2012, Land of Lincoln Health received a $160 million loan from the federal government to create a new kind of health insurance company in Illinois. With this money and a vision for a better way for people to get the quality health insurance they deserve, Land of Lincoln Health was formed.
After receiving federal approval, Land of Lincoln Health had to earn its license from the State of Illinois Department of Insurance. This is an in-depth process that makes sure that Land of Lincoln Health is a stable company that can provide comprehensive benefits.
On April 29, 2013, Land of Lincoln Health earned its mutual insurance license from the State. (A “mutual” insurance license means that we are governed by our members.)
Today, Land of Lincoln Health stands alone as the first new mutual health insurance company to be licensed in Illinois in more than 25 years.