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Connecticut doctors file to create nonprofit health plan

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 3, 2011

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The Connecticut State Medical Society and its sister organization, CSMS-IPA, filed a notice of intent in mid-September with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to create a consumer-oriented, nonprofit health plan.

The plan would be offered alongside others in the state health insurance exchange, to open in 2014. The society decided to take advantage of this option in the health system reform law because the organization wanted to provide patients with another, more affordable health insurance plan that puts patient care first, said David S. Katz, MD, the society's immediate past president.

"We at CSMS know from our own involvement fighting rate hikes on behalf of our patients that they don't have access to insurance options that focus on quality of medical care and emphasize the patient-physician relationship," he said. CSMS-IPA has roughly 7,000 members.

HHS has about $3.8 billion available for start-up loans for such plans -- known as CO-OPs -- enough to fund at least one plan in each state. Full CO-OP applications are due on Oct. 17, and HHS expects to announce successful bids in January 2012.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/10/03/gvbf1003.htm.

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