Mercy Joins Health Insurance Co-Op

Some Iowans are going to have a new option when it comes to health care insurance. Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City will take part in a newly approved co-op insurance plan.

The Mercy Health Network will participate in the new type of insurance policy being offered by Co-Opportunity Health and the University of Iowa Health Alliance.

It's one of only 24 similar programs that have received federal approval and funding. What makes this program unique is that it's a non-profit, which can result in lower patient premiums and added member benefits.

"As you look at where the Affordable Care Act is going, consumers will shop. Consumers are going to shop on quality, but they're definitely going to shop on price. So, we believe by collaborating with the other members of the Alliance, we'll provide a better product and a cheaper product in the long run," said Mercy CEO Bob Peebles.

The new option will be available in 75 of Iowa's 99 counties.

Enrollment begins October 1st, with coverage beginning the January 1st of 2014.