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State announces health insurance nonprofit to apply for licensure to offer coverage as part of ACA

Land of Lincoln Health received a $160 federal loan to provide individuals and small business with affordable, quality health plans

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[December 28, 2012]  CHICAGO -- The Illinois Department of Insurance announced this week that Land of Lincoln Health, a nonprofit consumer-operated and oriented plan, known as a CO-OP, has received $160 million in federal loans and will now apply for licensure as an Illinois mutual insurer to offer health insurance to individuals and small business owners. Upon receiving state license approval, Land of Lincoln Health will be able to offer health coverage through the Illinois benefits health exchange.

"We continue our efforts to create a health benefits exchange under the Affordable Care Act. This move to allow health coverage through a CO-OP marks another positive step to provide the people of Illinois more choices for quality health care," said Gov. Pat Quinn. Land of Lincoln Health, incorporated by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, is currently the first and only such plan in Illinois to receive approval by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With an innovative, consumer-focused health care delivery model, Land of Lincoln Health is designed to provide Illinois communities with insurance options tailored to meet specific health and budgetary needs.

"Our department is pleased to help Illinois residents and small business owners gain access to reliable, high-quality, low-cost health insurance coverage through access to CO-OPs," said DOI Director Andrew Boron. "We are pleased that Land of Lincoln is working to make consumer protections within the health care insurance industry a priority."

CO-OPs are member-based and required to use any revenues after expenses toward improving the overall quality of health care coverage, including lowering insurance premiums and enhancing health benefits. Individuals and small businesses can purchase health insurance at affordable prices through CO-OPs -- both inside and outside of health care exchanges -- starting Jan. 1, 2014.

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The Patient Potection and Affordable Care Act allows for $3.8 billion in federal funding loans to assist states in establishing CO-OPs with nonprofit, member-based health insurance organizations in each state. Through its state-partnership exchange, Illinois is the 24th state to receive federal approval and funding. More information on the federal loan is available at:


The mission of the Illinois Department of Insurance is to protect consumers by providing assistance and information, by efficiently regulating the insurance industry's market behavior and financial solvency, and by fostering a competitive insurance marketplace. The department assists consumers with all insurance complaints, including health, auto, life and homeowner.

[Text from Illinois Department of Insurance file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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