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Nevada's Health Insurance Co-Op Emerges as an Obamacare Winner

Across a sea of parking spaces from a Las Vegas shopping mall sits one of the grand experiments hidden within the Affordable Care Act: a low-cost insurance startup that’s winning in the marketplace ahead of today’s deadline for the uninsured to begin enrolling.

Nevada Health Co-Op, with a storefront office designed to draw customers off the street, is among nearly two dozen “consumer oriented and operated” carriers authorized under the bill. These co-ops were designed to be private, nonprofit alternatives to the creation of a so-called public option, the government-run insurer proposed during the long health-care debate and ultimately abandoned in the final version of the law. And while Nevada’s co-op has been signing up customers only since the fall, it has already captured a third of new enrollments through the state’s health-insurance exchange.