Requiem for a CO-OP: ‘Common Ground’ Finds New Partner in CareSource

Since 2021, just three consumer operated and oriented plans (CO-OPs) have remained operational out of the original 23 nonprofit insurers created by the Affordable Care Act. Now, one of the three survivors — Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative (CGHC) — is poised to shed its CO-OP identity and combine forces with CareSource, a Medicaid-focused insurer based in Ohio.

In a Feb. 27 press release, CGHC said it was “financially healthy and on track to repay” all loans that it’s received from the federal government.

“Even so, it’s challenging as a nonprofit startup to support necessary investments in operations and diversification while keeping premiums affordable for our members,” CEO Cathy Mahaffey said.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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