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Illinois Small Businesses Secure a Health Insurance Cooperative

Small Businesses to Benefit From New Option to Address Rising Healthcare Costs

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 12/27/12 -- After fighting for nearly two years to receive approval and funding for a health insurance cooperative in the State of Illinois, the Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC) is excited to learn Illinois received funding for its first health insurance cooperative.

"As small business owners face health insurance premiums that continue to rise, they now have reason for hope," said Elliot Richardson, SBAC President and CEO. "On behalf of the SBAC I would like to congratulate the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC) for obtaining a $160 million federal loan to establish an Illinois health insurance co-operative. We appreciate MCHC establishing a health insurance cooperative open to small businesses and look forward to supporting the Land of Lincoln Cooperative in providing small business owners and their employees with access to affordable health insurance coverage."

The Affordable Care Act created a program to help create new, private nonprofit health insurers, called Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans, or "CO-OPs." CO-OPs are directed by their customers and designed to offer individuals and small businesses additional affordable, consumer-friendly and high-quality health insurance options.

"I wish to thank Senator Kwame Raoul, Representative Karen May and the dozens of other legislators who stood with small business so that Illinois could have a health insurance cooperative," added Richardson.

The SBAC launched the Coalition for Cooperatives, made up of business and consumer organizations across Illinois, to promote small business support of health cooperatives across the state. The SBAC will continue to pursue other ways to bring down the cost of health insurance, including private exchanges and other innovative products.

The SBAC is a non-partisan, member driven organization that promotes the success of small business through political advocacy, support services and educational programs. The group was established in 2010 and currently represents over 550 businesses in the Chicagoland area.

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