SOURCE: Colorado HealthOP

Colorado HealthOP

September 24, 2013 17:16 ET

Colorado HealthOP Turns Health Insurance Upside Down With Focus on Choice and Prevention, Not Profits

New Health Insurance CO-OP Announces Five Progressive Programs That Give Coloradans More Control Over Their Medical Costs and Care

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - Sep 24, 2013) - Colorado HealthOP, Colorado's first statewide non-profit health insurance cooperative (CO-OP), announced today that it will offer five progressive programs designed to give consumers more choice in their healthcare, help them stay healthier and ultimately reduce their healthcare spending.

"Because Colorado HealthOP reports to members, not shareholders, investing in members' long-term health -- not short-term profits -- is a priority," said Jack Westfall, MD, chief medical officer of Colorado HealthOP. "By investing in preventive care and giving members more choices, we will not only improve members' health, but also hope to save them more money now and in the future."

Colorado HealthOP's five programs emphasize preventive care and encourage members to make choices that help them get healthy, stay healthy, and save money.

1. Rewards Members for Staying Healthy
Under most of Colorado HealthOP's health insurance plans, when members take three health actions each, they will:

  • Pay less out-of-pocket when they visit the doctor.
  • Earn money on a debit card to use to pay for healthcare expenses.

2. Partners With Doctors that Cost Less
Colorado HealthOP members have two ways of saving money when they go to the doctor.

  • Members can choose a plan with a more limited network that costs less.
  • Colorado HealthOP has partnered with doctors who believe in the CO-OP's mission. When members go to these doctors, they often pay less.

3. Helps Children Remain Cavity Free at Three
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in young children, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Yet the majority of health plans do not cover infant and toddler oral care provided by a primary care physician. Colorado HealthOP will pay for covered children to receive four oral health visits, including preventive fluoride varnish, between the ages of 6 months and 4 years from their primary care provider. The CO-OP is partnering with Cavity Free at Three, a program of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, to train primary care physicians to provide dental care for infants.

4. Covers Home Blood Pressure Monitoring at 100 Percent
The American Heart Association recommends home monitoring for anyone with high blood pressure. When people measure their blood pressure at home several times a week and report it to their doctors online, doctors see a more accurate picture of health and can more quickly respond to issues, helping people with high blood pressure better manage their condition. Colorado HealthOP will cover 100 percent of the costs associated with home monitoring for its members with high blood pressure. And finally Colorado HealthOP will pay primary care providers an annual fee to cover home blood pressure management.

5. Gives Members the Tools to Price Shop
While most people compare prices when purchasing almost anything, few price shop when seeking medical care. To help its members compare costs prior to seeking medical care, Colorado HealthOP will provide pricing and quality ratings for local providers of surgery, medical tests and other common procedures.

"Colorado HealthOP is not just a health insurance company; we partner with our members and their providers," said Dr. Westfall. "We believe that the role of health insurance extends beyond covering people when they're sick or injured; we want to support our members' health, nutrition and fitness, and help them be more informed consumers of healthcare services."

For more information about Colorado HealthOP or to learn more about changes in healthcare visit www.COHealthOP.org.

About Colorado HealthOP
Colorado HealthOP offers a new alternative to traditional health insurance in Colorado. A nonprofit health insurance cooperative, Colorado HealthOP and its members are committed to providing affordable, quality coverage to individuals and employers interested in making a difference in their own health, their employees' health and the health of their community. Colorado HealthOP aims to improve health outcomes by putting the responsibility for consumers' care back into the hands of the cooperative's members and providers. A private market solution tailored for individuals and employers, Colorado HealthOP will begin open enrollment in October 2013 via Connect for Health Colorado, Colorado's health insurance marketplace, and through independent brokers and agents. Coverage will begin January 1, 2014. For more information about Colorado HealthOP, please visit www.COHealthOP.org or call 720.627.8900.

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