Credit unions in Iowa and Nebraska will partner with CoOportunity Health to offer health insurance options for individuals, families and small businesses, the Iowa Credit Union League announced.


Beginning Oct. 1, Iowa and Nebraska credit unions will serve as an exclusive financial institution information distribution for CoOportunity Health, a Des Moines-based health insurance cooperative that will offer plans through electronic exchanges in Iowa and Nebraska.  CoOportunity, which was funded last year with a $112 million low-interest federal loan, was granted a certificate of authority in March by the Iowa Insurance Division.


More than 180 credit unions serving approximately 1.45 million members in the two states will have the option to participate in information and education efforts about CoOportunity's exchange.


"CoOportunity Health's mission and philosophy are perfectly aligned with credit unions and we believe that by working together, we can have a tremendous impact by educating Iowans and Nebraskans on the pending changes in health care while providing them a new, member-focused choice for health insurance," Dave Lyons, CEO of CoOportunity Health, said in a press release.


Iowa Credit Union League President and CEO Patrick Jury said credit union members also can establish health savings accounts at the same time they enroll in CoOportunity's qualified high-deductible health insurance plans.


Urbandale-based Group Benefits Ltd. will serve as the preferred insurance broker for the credit union partnership in both states. The company has a network of more than 1,000 agents in Iowa and Nebraska.