Insurance co-op gets state certification

Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc., a consumer-owned nonprofit that will compete with private insurers to sell health policies, said Wednesday it has received a key state certificate that will allow it to offer health benefit plans later this year.

The Maryland Insurance Administration granted the certificate of authority to the company started by a group led by former Howard County health officer Peter Beilenson.

The group received a $65 million federal loan last September to start the venture.

Enrollment in the plan will start Oct 1. and coverage will begin on Jan. 1.

Beilenson has said Evergreen would target Marylanders whose salaries are too high to qualify for Medicaid but who find private insurance unaffordable.

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