New England Regional News

2 Major Health Insurance Providers Announce Merger Plan

Two of Massachusetts’ major health insurance providers, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, announced Wednesday that they plan to merge.

If it clears regulatory hurdles, the new organization will become “one of the region’s largest nonprofit health services organizations,” according to a joint statement by the companies.

Although the deal was unanimously approved by both company boards, it must receive state and federal regulatory approvals. Until that happens, both companies will continue to operate independently.

“Through the combination of two strong organizations with a commitment to non-profit health care in New England, we will be able to provide even greater value to consumers, as well as improve access to care throughout the region,” Joyce Murphy, chair of the board for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, said in a statement.

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Some of the goals of the new, yet-to-be-named company, will be to improve affordability and quality of health care coverage to customers, extend the geographic access of their coverage and streamline customer experience through innovative tools, according to the joint statement.

“Our communities and consumers today face four major hurdles in health care: affordability, access, quality of health and a fragmented health care experience across various stakeholders and health systems. Through our shared vision, we believe we can tackle these issues and bring more value to the communities we serve,” Tom Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan, said in a statement.

Croswell will serve as CEO of the new organization, according to the companies. Michael Carson, the president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, will serve as president.

Close to 2.4 million people in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island will be served by the new company, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan said.

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