NU Online News Service, April 6, 2004, 12:25 p.m. – Georgia insurance regulators have approved the state’s first health plan purchasing cooperative seven years after the state passed legislation enabling such organizations.[@@]

Commissioner of Insurance John W. Oxendine granted a license to the Central Georgia Purchasing Cooperative, a nonprofit organization aimed at helping businesses combine their buying power to obtain affordable major medical health insurance coverage.

A state law passed in 1997 authorizes health plan purchasing cooperatives, which operate for the benefit of business members within a specific geographic area. In addition to providing purchasing services, the coops gather information on comparative prices, usage, medical outcomes, quality and enrollee satisfaction through health insurance plans.

The Central Georgia Purchasing Cooperative is located in Macon and will provide services to employers in a number of surrounding communities.