Virgin to offer insurance with Humana

The US insurance market is clearly changing in response to the push for consumer-focused plans. First there was the news that Blue Cross of California had come up with Tonik, a low-premium, high-deductible plan for young customers. Now a company better known for its work in the entertainment field is making a healthcare play. In an interview Friday on CNBC, Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson announced the launch of a new healthcare division. The new company will be a partnership between Virgin and Humana. Dubbed Virgin Life Care, the venture will market a series of low-cost plans designed to appeal to people who otherwise would not be able to afford insurance. The project will also have a health club tie-in. The service debuts in the Tampa and San Antonio areas in the spring of 2006.

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