About the CO-OP

Everyone deserves the financial security that comes with affordable health insurance.

That's why we created the CO-OP.

We believe that Montanans, Idahoans, and Wyomingites should have access to affordable quality healthcare – which is why our members govern our CO-OP. We believe in investing profits back into our members through added benefits and services  like dental and vision reimbursements, telehealth, travel benefits and low cost prescriptions.

Come as you are, whoever you are. We’re Mountain Health CO-OP,  we belong to you, and you belong here.

What do we stand for?

Our Mission
We offer non-profit member-governed health insurance that promotes member engagement and provides access to high quality medical care.

Our Vision
Champion a more innovative, member-centric healthcare delivery system by promoting the triple aim where providers are engaged to improve population health, improve individual healthcare, and control healthcare spending.

Our Core Values
Customer focus, Communication, Quality, Integrity, Responsibility, Respect, Credibility, Innovation, Teamwork.

Why join us?

We Keep Your Money Local

Your insurance dollars stay in the Rocky Mountain West. We have offices in Helena Montana, Cheyenne Wyoming and Eagle Idaho.

We're Happy network

Our plans are accepted by doctors and hospitals throughout the states we serve. We also have a telehealth service that is available to all members 24 hours a day – 7 days a week.

You Have a Seat at the Table

As a CO-OP member, you have a voice and a vote in how the CO-OP is run. The majority of our board of directors, is made up of members!

Learn more about our signature benefits.

It all comes back to you.

Our members receive top rated coverage, for a lower cost because our profits are reinvested back into our services and rates- not sent to shareholders. We put members first and to back that promise up- our governing board is made-up primarily of CO-OP members with individual, family or group plans.

Our Commitment to Your Care

Care and Utilization Management

Mountain Health CO-OP has contracted with the University of Utah Health Plans to both process claims, and oversee our care and utilization management programs.

Through these programs, care and utilization management teams assist members in getting the right care at the right time. Through their work, these teams help our member achieve the best outcome, using nationally-recognized, evidence-based guidelines.

Quality Improvement Strategy

All of us at The CO-OP want to improve the quality and safety of health care. In order to know if we are improving, we measure how well we, and the professionals we work with, are doing over time. 

We work with many different health care providers to make your health and health care even better. Our clinical activities and programs are based on guidelines obtained from the best, proven medical best-practices we can find. 

We work to give you and your health care providers the information and tools needed to make good decisions

We aim to:

Identify and meet the health needs of all of our members.

Measure, monitor and improve the care that our members get. We look at both quality and safety.

Understand and address racial and ethnic differences in health care.

Come up with ways to do our jobs even better.

Make sure we obey all the rules, including rules that come from federal and state regulators and accrediting groups.

Help medical care providers understand the measurements of the care they give and where they are doing well or could do better.

Make sure providers in our networks meet all of the standards.

Program Process & Expected Outcomes

As Mountain Health CO-OP provides Marketplace plans, we collect data on clinical measures reporting to the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) and share the results with our accrediting organization, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). We use the results to set new goals and improve our clinical programs each year. As a result, we expect improved member health outcomes on these measures over time.

Also, we ask members how satisfied they are with Mountain Health CO-OP and how we can improve with both administrative processes and the medical care they receive. If medical needs are severe, we involve nurses and other healthcare professionals to directly help members get the best care.

Mountain Health CO-OP seeks to improve safety by providing information to physicians and members to help them make better decisions about medications and medical care options. We work with health educators to provide member training about the benefits of getting appropriate and timely care.

Each year we monitor the effectiveness of our behavioral health (BH) programs.

  • We work to bring many behavioral health providers and facilities into our network of Montana clinical care providers.

  • We provide information and tools to our members, providers and BH staff to promote the use of medication according to doctors’ instructions.

  • We encourage BH providers to use assessment tools that are based on the best evidence to improve the quality of care they provide.

  • We work closely with providers to make sure that behavioral health care is provided in the best and most effective setting.

We take our accreditation by the NCQA seriously. It’s how we show our commitment to:

  • Finding ways to always keep improving

  • Meeting people’s expectations

  • Setting The CO-OP apart from other health plans

  • You can get more information about our NCQA accreditations on the NCQA website

Board of Directors

Mountain Health CO-OP’s Board of Directors must include a majority of members — people with our coverage who want to help direct the future of the organization.  If you are interested in joining the Board of Directors scroll down to see how to secure a nomination.

Interested in participating?

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Ray Rogers

Board Chair of Mountain Health

Ray Rogers is the current Board Chair of the Health CO-OP. Mr. Rogers is a Chief Executive Officer for the National Center for Health Care Informatics (NCHCI), a Montana non-profit corporation. He resides in Butte, MT.

Lisa Ballard, Board Member

Lisa Ballard

Board Member

Lisa Ballard is a self-employed journalist based in Red Lodge, Montana. She covers outdoor recreation, wildlife conservation, and travel-related topics. She spent 20 years as a television producer/host for ESPN, PBS and other networks, for which she garnered 3 Emmys and 5 additional Emmy nominations. More recently, she has focused her communication skills on writing and photography, primarily for magazines and websites. Lisa has served in leadership and strategic planning roles on numerous non-profit boards and advisory committees, including the Outdoor Writers Association of America, the US Ski and Snowboard Association, the US Ski Hall of Fame and her alma mater, Dartmouth College. Lisa was born in Saranac Lake, New York, where her family still runs an insurance agency. After graduating with a degree in Economics, she worked in commercial banking, advertising and as a professional athlete (ski racing) before her career in communications.

Tom Bassler, Board Member

Thomas Bassler

Board Member

Tom Bassler is an attorney with 35 years of experience in corporate, health care and health insurance law. From 1995 through 2008, he was General Counsel and Sr. V.P. of Legal Services and Governmental Affairs for Blue Cross of Idaho. Prior to that, he was employed for 17 years by Community Mutual Insurance Company (an Ohio Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan) where he served as V.P. and General Counsel for 10 of those years. Subsequent to his career with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, he joined the Hawley Troxell law firm in Boise, Idaho, and was Of Counsel with the firm for five years. He now has a solo legal practice in Boise. Tom is a member of the Idaho and Ohio State Bars and the American Health Lawyers Association. He has also served as chair of the Idaho Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association.

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Tara Beam

Board Member

Tara Beam is a Montana Air National Guard veteran, attended MSU-Northern obtaining a degree in Business Administration as well as a 25 year Active Registered Nurse with experience in ER, Assisted Living, Long Term Care, OB/GYN and Med/Surg.  Tara helped create the well – known Roadhouse Diner in Great Falls, MT and has earned a variety of local, state and national accolades. She has competed as a chef on a Food Network with Guy Fieri and won the Burgers2 challenge.  She has met with members of Montana’s government to discuss employee healthcare issues and continues to develop strong relationships with local organizations and businesses to bring the community together.  She has held numerous fundraisers to support local schools, aspiring bands, hospitals and locals.  She is the Aspire 2020 Fire Within winner of which is nominated by past winners in the community.

Christina Goe, Board Member

Christina Goe

Board Member

Christina Lechner Goe is an attorney with extensive experience in health insurance and health care law. She was born in Billings, Montana. She has a B.A. in history from Stanford University and a J.D. from Santa Clara University Law School.  She is a member of the bar in California (1980 – inactive) and Montana (1995). Ms. Goe worked as a Staff Attorney, Chief Legal Counsel and General Counsel for the Montana Department of Securities and Insurance from 1999 through 2016.  She worked in all areas of insurance regulation. Beginning in 2010, she worked exclusively on implementing state and federal health insurance laws and healthcare delivery reform. In 2017, Ms. Goe established a solo law practice, focusing on state and federal health care law issues.

Thomas Gooch, Board Member

Thomas Gooch

Board Member

Thomas Gooch is a retired Fire Department Division Chief and Emergency Medical Technician.  In his 25-year fire service career, he served numerous roles, including Project Manager, Commissioner, Training Officer, and Safety Officer.  He earned numerous State and National certifications and wrote successful grant applications winning over $800,000 in Federal funding for his department.  Tom has owned four successful businesses, including an ambulance company and an electrical contracting firm.  Tom and his wife reside near Kalispell where he is president of his homeowner’s association.

Jeremy Johnson, Board Member

Jeremy Johnson

Board Member

Jeremy Johnson is a professor of political science at Carroll College in Helena, MT.  He teaches a course on health politics and policy and is currently writing a book surveying changes in the politics of health insurance over the last century.  He also frequently provides analysis for newspapers and television news about campaigns and elections in MT and has lectured extensively on the Affordable Care Act.

Michael McMurray, Board Member

Michael McMurray

Board Member

Mike lives in Eagle, Idaho, and retired as a financial executive from Boise Cascade Corp.  He is a finance graduate of the University of Idaho and Harvard Business School Executive MBA program.   Mike serves on the Idaho Community Foundation’s Board Investment Committee.  He served on not-for-profit board of Regence Blue Shield of Idaho, YMCA, Idaho Housing and Finance Association, and start-up company boards Tenxsys, PCS Edventures and Farmers and Merchants Bank.

Joan Miles, Board Member

Joan Miles

Board Member

Joan Miles recently retired as Director of Grants and Program Development for MHA – An Association of Montana Health Care Providers. Miles was responsible for the administration, coordination, and supervision of the grant-funded programs housed in the Montana Health Research and Education Foundation (MHA’s non-profit foundation) and served as a liaison between MHA members and state, federal and other agencies on grant-related matters. Prior to joining MHA, Ms. Miles was Director of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services from 2005 through 2008 and served 12 years as the Lewis & Clark County Health Officer and Director of the Lewis & Clark City-County Health Department. Earlier in her career, she worked as a law clerk for the Montana Supreme Court and served two terms in the Montana Legislature as a representative of central Helena. Miles currently serves as the chair of the Public Health Foundation based in Washington, D.C. She is licensed to practice law in Montana, California and federal courts.

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Maureen O’Keeffe-Wing

Board Member

Maureen O’Keeffe-Wing has spent over 25 years in healthcare, finishing her career as the System Vice-President & Chief Human Resource Officer for the St. Luke’s Health System in Idaho. 

Maureen retired from St. Luke’s Health System in 2016.  She began working for St. Luke’s in 1997 as the Director of Strategic Planning.  She held this position for 7 years, seeing the organization through significant change and growth.  In 2004, she was promoted to a Vice-President level and given responsibility for the human resource service line.  St. Luke’s self-insured health plan was included in Maureen’s portfolio of responsibilities.  Approximately 29,000 employees and family members were covered. 

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Mark Reinsel

Board Member

Mark Reinsel is president of Apex Engineering, PLLC in Missoula, Montana, with 36 years of experience in consulting, industry and academia. His consulting work focuses on treating mining and other industrial wastewaters through biological, chemical and physical methods. Mark has been self-employed since 2002 and has lived in Missoula since 2010. From 1995 until 2010, he lived and worked in Helena. From 2001 until 2008, Mark served as an adjunct professor at Montana State University and Montana Tech, teaching courses in the Masters for Project Engineering and Management program.

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Becca LaFond

Board Member

Becca is our surprise candidate for a Class B Board position. Her application came out of the blue with no one apparently recruiting her or encouraging her to consider a Class B position. She has followed our COOP for many years, noticed something on Facebook regarding recruiting board members, and then studied our website and noticed opportunities for B members. Becca is a healthcare services executive working with Empiric Health. She focuses on data-driven, physician practice change to reduce cost and improve value. She is an impressive and exciting candidate for our Board, bringing unique and desirable skills.

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Liesel Brink

Board Member

A Montana transplant since 1995 Liesel Brink earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science from the University of Montana – Missoula. She has held positions in the non-profit, legal and Insurance industries. Her area of expertise is in the field of Human Resources where she has over 15 years of experience. Liesel has earned designations within her field and accepted the 2019 Circle of Excellence Award from the Big Sky Society of Human Resource Management Chapter. Her experience participating on Boards spans just over two decades. She enjoys getting out into the Montana landscape by hiking with family and pets.

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Nolan Hill

Board Member

Nolan Hill is the co-Founder and CEO of Highland West Energy, an alternative energy company based out of Rexburg, Idaho. He received an A.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Business Management from BYU-Idaho. He worked as a business consultant helping new entrepreneurs start online businesses from 2004 – 2013 while residing in Salt Lake City, UT. In 2013 he co-founded Highland West Energy which focuses on clean sustainable energy systems.  Since 2012 he has actively provided low income home financing for individuals and families looking to have home ownership, who do not have the resources for traditional bank lending.
Nolan saw firsthand the challenges of working through medical insurance billing issues for his mother after she experienced a heart attack in 2012. Because of this experience, he has a great desire to work with Mountain Health Co-op as a board member to assist in creating world class insurance for its members and help steer Mountain Health in pioneering ways for other insurance providers to model.
Nolan has been married to his wife Autumn for 13 years and they have 4 children ages 2 – 11.

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Patty Hamblock

Board Member

Patty Hamblock retired in December 2019 from Water & Environmental Technologies
(WET) after working as an engineer for 181⁄2 years. She was born and raised in Havre
and has lived in Butte since 1990. She was involved in her husband’s physical therapy clinic from its inception in 1990 until it sold in 2017. She is motivated to serve on the MT Health Co-op Board because of her 40-years of experience being insured, positive/negative interactions with various insurance carriers, and her association with small businesses. She has a husband Mike, two adult children, and a dog named Carl.

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Christopher Muirhead

Board Member

Semi-retired CPA. Twenty years of experience serving on Wyoming Medical Center Board; also served on Mountain Pacific Quality Healthcare Foundation Board; appointed to Wyoming Health Commission; appointed by Governor to Wyoming State Board of CPA’s. Long career as CPA with emphasis in taxation.

Join the Board

Mountain Health CO-OP is governed by a board that includes members from Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

This consumer Board of Directors hires the organization’s chief executive officer and sets the strategy, policy, and direction for our organization. Every other year, several positions come open for election.

The application process begins early in the year, with candidates selected for election by October.  You can download our board application below.

Application process is closed.

Mail Applications:
Montana Health CO-OP/Board Application
P.O. BOX 5358
Helena MT 59604

Or send electronically to: [email protected]

Voting members elect our Board of Directors, the governing body that hires the chief executive officer and makes major policy decisions. They also elect the chair of the Standing Nominating Committee, which nominates Board candidates and votes on changes to our bylaws and on advisory resolutions.

Members age 18 and older are eligible to vote. For more information email:
[email protected]

Election results are announced at the annual membership meeting which is held in the 4th Quarter each year

In 2013, our founding members were dedicated to creating a responsive, viable health care delivery system for their community. Voting members have had a direct voice since the beginning. That includes you!

Qualifications

  • Must be 18 years old or older
  • Must not be in bankruptcy
  • Must not be an active employee of the CO-OP or a commissioned operator or consultant under contract with MHC
  • Must support the affairs of the CO-OP and complies with the adopted bylaws
  • Must be an insured member of MHC (Class A nominations only)
  • Each director must meet ethical, conflict-of-interest, and disclosure standards including that each director act in the sole interest of the CO-OP and, as appropriate, the health and wellbeing of its local geographic community
  • Individuals are not eligible if they are representatives of the following entities who are in high-level positions and are responsible for setting policy or similar key decisions are prohibited from serving as a director of the Company:
    • Any federal, state or local government (or of any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof)
    • A pre-existing issuer of health insurance other than issuers that market only Medicare or Medicaid managed care products

As MHC’s elected governing body, the 17-member Board of Directors is legally responsible under federal and state law, and its Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, for establishing, guiding, and assessing the overall direction and performance of the MHC.

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The Fine Print

DBA Mountain Health CO-OP in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or health status in the administration of the plan, including enrollment and benefit determinations.