- Associated Press - Thursday, May 8, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - A new nonprofit offering health insurance in Illinois will continue to sell plans next year despite capturing only a small portion of customers on the marketplace that’s the cornerstone of the national overhaul.

Land of Lincoln Health sold policies to more than 3,600 Illinois individuals, families and small businesses in its first year, the nonprofit insurance co-op’s CEO Dan Yunker said in an email this week.

The enrollment shows “that there is real excitement about the introduction of a member-governed, nonprofit health insurance company in Illinois,” Yunker said.

Created by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, Land of Lincoln Health received a $160 million federal loan to get started and was one of 23 consumer-run, co-op insurers formed nationwide under the Affordable Care Act.

Land of Lincoln’s first-year participation is dwarfed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, which signed up 200,000 customers on the marketplace after advertising widely and offering the least expensive prices in many parts of the state.

More than 217,000 Illinois residents chose plans on the state’s marketplace, the majority with Blue Cross, which reported signing up another 150,000 Illinoisans who purchased through brokers or the company’s website.

Insurance companies have until June 10 to file applications to sell health insurance on the Illinois marketplace for coverage in 2015.