A Montana-based insurance cooperative that received more than $20 million in low- or no-interest federal loans in 2013 in preparation for its expansion into Idaho has officially been given a clean bill of health to begin offering coverage through the Idaho health insurance exchange beginning this fall.

Mountain Health CO-OP has opened up an Idaho office in Eagle and has now filed its products and rates for review with the Idaho Department of Insurance in preparation for the next open enrollment period, which will begin Nov. 15.

The private, nonprofit co-op says it hopes to sign up as many as 10,000 Idahoans in its first year of business in the Gem State. It currently has more than 12,000 members in Montana, representing nearly half of all Montanans who bought insurance through that state’s exchange earlier this year.

“Any profits we make go back to our members in better coverage, lower prices and better care,” said Mountain Health CO-OP CEO Jerry Dworak. “We’re a true co-op, and our members are in charge.”

George Prentice