A primary goal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is to reduce the number of uninsured by making health insurance more affordable for small businesses and individuals. Toward that end, the PPACA encourages the creation of nonprofit, member-owned health insurance cooperatives to operate inside each state exchange. Co-ops face significant challenges in entering mature insurance markets, but they also possess unique characteristics that may help them survive and thrive. Using Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative in Wisconsin as a case study, this article traces the origins of co-ops in health care reform at national and state levels and analyzes the political and technical challenges and opportunities facing these organizations.

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