Rural County Finds a Solution in Co-Op

The Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County (HCC) has been developing the parameters of a county-wide health insurance co-op for the past two years. During the research phase of the program, we were able to determine that nearly 8% of our county was uninsured and that more small businesses were being forced to cut their benefits because of the rising cost of health insurance.

Because small businesses are not able to spread risk as easily as large (50+ lives), we determined that by “pooling” small businesses together we could not only spread the risk but also add more lives to the plan, making the co-op more viable. We have been working with our local health care leadership to provide incentives for the county-wide co-op plan including healthcare assessments or physicals for primary care and mental health, access to a health risk assessment on our workplace wellness website as well as transportation to and from local healthcare appointments to those individuals who financially qualify. These incentives set our plan apart from your average local insurance agency.

The goal of the HCC’s insurance co-op is to encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors, while providing incentives for patients to get routine exams relative to primary care and mental health service. The workplace wellness website also provides tools and resources for small businesses that purchase the plan.

The HCC continues to follow federal plans for health insurance reform—especially as it relates to advocating for small business options and more resources for rural communities.

Toniann Richard
Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County


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HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at