Hospital systems offering their own insurance plans is not a new phenomenon. The Affordable Care Act was simply the catalyst for change. The effort to gain more control over their own destiny starts with reducing unnecessary inpatient treatment and re-admittance rates. But the lines between traditional healthcare services will gradually disappear as they offer their own insurance products.
This February, CentraState Healthcare System in Freehold, NJ announced the creation of their own insurance product. In January these three hospital systems were reported as actively enrolling members in their own health insurance plans:
- Health and Hospitals Corporation (New York City) has 22,000 members enrolled and expects 40,000 by the end of the year
- L.A. Care in Los Angeles has enrolled about 8,000 members
- Henry Ford Health System in Detroit signed up 4,000 members
But clear back in Dec, 2012 the Wall Street Journal reported these healthcare systems were offering their own health insurance plans: Piedmont Healthcare and WellStar Health System in Atlanta; North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York; MedStar Health, in DC and Baltimore; Ford Health System in Detroit; UPMC in Pittsburgh; Sentara Health Care in Norfolk; and Inova Health System in Falls Church.
Yet none of them compare to the member-based systems with their own providers, RN nurses, physical therapists, hospitals, clinics, and insurance products, such as: Group Health Cooperative in Washington and Idaho, with 600,000 members; and Kaiser Permanente with over 7 million members in California, and close to 2 million more in other states.
Our country’s healthcare system will continue to morph as more and more hospitals merge and evolve into full service providers, including offering their own insurance products and anything else they can think of to leverage their assets, increase cash flow and manage their own fate.
Think out of the box? There is no box.
- Public, charity hospitals seek to widen patient base under AHA (Jan 16, 2014 , FierceHealthcare)
- Hospitals expand offerings with insurance plans (Dec 17, 2012 , FierceHealthcare)