Colorado’s Health Insurance CO-OP Opens Board of Directors Applications
Colorado HealthOP, Colorado’s first statewide health insurance CO-OP, has initiated a significant shift in how insurance companies are run, introducing greater member control into an industry that historically has had very little. The CO-OP announced today it is now seeking applications for its board of directors, inviting nearly 14,000 of its new Colorado members to run for a seat. The board of directors is elected by CO-OP members, and at least 80 percent of the board will be comprised of CO-OP members by the end of 2015. Board members will have formal decision-making authority to initiate changes in the CO-OP that will benefit all CO-OP members.
“Because Colorado HealthOP is controlled by our members, and not by outside investors, the CO-OP will become what our members want and need it to be – health insurance that is focused on improving the health of our members and the health of the communities we serve,” said Julia Hutchins, chief executive officer of Colorado HealthOP.
In this trailblazing model of member governance, Colorado HealthOP’s board members will be responsible for ensuring that member interests are reflected in the CO-OP’s decisions and actions, with an ultimate goal of lowering costs and providing more efficient and valuable health coverage to Colorado HealthOP members. Specific responsibilities include strategic goal setting, providing input into budgeting and financial reporting, developing policies for CO-OP business operations and overseeing the CEO.
“This call for applications represents a revolutionary time in healthcare,” Hutchins said. “Across the country, health insurance CO-OPs are doing for health insurance what the cooperative model has done for agriculture, electricity and countless other industries; we are introducing greater consumer control, improving efficiency and bringing consumer-demanded change to the healthcare industry.”
Colorado HealthOP opened its board of directors application process on May 1, 2014. Members can submit applications until July 7, 2014. A Nominations and Outreach committee will review all applications and conduct two rounds of applicant interviews to develop a diverse slate of candidates that will be presented to Colorado HealthOP’s members in August. Members will have the opportunity to vote for their board representatives in September and October. The new 11-member board will be seated at the CO-OP’s annual meeting in October.
Colorado HealthOP’s founding board of directors, who will continue to oversee the CO-OP’s operations until the new board is seated, is comprised of a group of volunteer healthcare professionals, policymakers and advocates.