Two co-op startups in Ore. health insurance market

Protesters stand outside the Capitol as Oregon’s 77th legislative session gets under way in Salem, Ore., Monday, Feb. 4, 2013. A group of several hundred people advocating universal health care, jobs, immigration reform and other issues gathered together for the first day of the legislative session.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Protesters stand outside the Capitol as Oregon’s 77th legislative session gets under way in Salem, Ore., Monday, Feb. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The emerging health care insurance market in Oregon features two startup cooperatives.

They tell The Oregonian they’re hoping to appeal to consumers who’d prefer to do business with smaller, not-for-profit organizations or who support underdogs and alternative, do-it-yourself culture.

In October, Oregon’s Health Co-op and Health Republic will go head to head with about a dozen established insurers. The Cover Oregon marketplace is expected to appeal to small businesses and more than 200,000 individuals.

The co-ops are backed by interest-free federal loans, and the Affordable Care Act is promoting them.

Among their challenges is actually offering lower prices.

A comparison of the Portland individual market posted last week puts them in the middle of the pack of insurers. The state hasn’t yet approved the rates, so they could change.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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