February 28, 2018

Hartford HealthCare, Tufts forming insurance company

Greg Bordonaro
Greg Bordonaro
Hartford HealthCare is forming an insurance company with Massachusetts-based Tufts.

Hartford HealthCare is getting into business with Massachusetts-based insurer Tufts Health Plan.

The two announced Wednesday they plan to form a jointly-owned health insurance company, CarePartners of Connecticut Inc., to sell Medicare Advantage policies starting later this year, pending federal approval.

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private companies that contract with the federal government, and include additional coverage. Nearly 190,000 Connecticut residents were enrolled in such plans as of November, according to federal data.

The five-hospital Hartford HealthCare system (which is in the midst of adding a sixth) said its arrangement with Tufts is the first of its kind in Connecticut.

"This new partnership represents an important chapter in a larger story about the exciting shift occurring across the American health care delivery system — for providers and health plans to create meaningful partnerships to make care more accessible, consumer friendly, affordable and ultimately more coordinated," Hartford HealthCare CEO Elliot Joseph said in a statement.

Tufts CEO Tom Croswell said the partnership "comes at a very important time in the quickly shifting healthcare landscape, where providing the highest quality care to our members while effectively managing costs is critical."

In 2015, Tufts launched a commercial insurance plan in partnership with five New Hampshire hospitals.

Modern Healthcare reported last year that more than two dozen such insurer-provider partnerships had sprung up around the country since 2010, including several involving Aetna.

The Hartford-based insurer announced in 2012 that it would form a health plan with a Northern Virginia health system, Innova, to offer both Medicare Advantage and commercial products.

Aetna has since formed commercial plans with Minnesota-based Allina Health and Texas Health Resources.

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