Vermont now has a new, nonprofit health insurance company-- the first new health insurer in the state in nearly 20 years.
The Vermont Health CO-OP says it will be built on a model outlined in President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That's the national insurance reform initiative passed by Congress in 2010.
The federal law calls for at least one such co-op in each state.
"Unlike Vermont's current health insurers, the co-op will be entirely member-owned and governed. We are excited to be part of a national movement of member-owned and governed health plans," said Mitch Fleishcher of the Vermont Health CO-OP.
The Vermont Health CO-OP will begin marketing products in October 2013. Health plans will be available statewide Jan. 1, 2014.
Officials say this piece of the federal legislation has already been funded, so the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the bill-- expected this summer-- will not have an impact.