The nonprofit group HealthyCT announced Wednesday it filed a more than 400 page application with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to get funding to become Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The group was created by two physicians associations, the Connecticut State Medical Society and CSMS-IPA, and if licensed would become a health insurance provider primarily for individual and small group markets, according to a CSMS statement.   

HealthCT plans to be open for enrollment as soon as the Connecticut Insurance Exchange becomes operational on Jan. 1, 2014. Insurance policies would become effective one year later, the statement said.

In its application the group noted that last year both individual and small group policies were concentrated under a small number of providers. Anthem, UnitedHealth, Aetna, ConnectiCare and Assurant carried 95 percent of individual policies, the statement said. Meanwhile UnitedHealth, Anthem, ConnectiCare, Aetna and Cigna made up 99 percent of the small group market, it said.

HealthyCT Board President David S. Katz said Connecticut residents are clamoring for more choices.

“Patients I see every day, and small businesses like my own practice are looking for affordable health insurance choices. With federal approval, HealthyCT can be the new option that brings some competition to Connecticut,” he said.
Kevin Galvin, chairman of Small Business For A Healthy Connecticut and member of HealthyCT’s board of directors, agreed.

“Small businesses have been crying out for someone to create affordable health insurance; HealthyCT can provide that option,” he said in a statement “Small businesses belong at the table, and HealthyCT has welcomed us there. That’s good news for all of us.”

If its application is approved the group will operate through the state’s newly created health insurance exchange. It recently received a $50,000 grant from the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut for its launch.