AHIP launching first rebranding effort in nearly 2 decades

A graphic highlighting the word insurance.
The insurance industry's top lobbyist is launching a rebrand. (Getty/NicoElNino)

The top insurance lobbying group is launching a rebrand as the line between payer and provider grows increasingly blurred.

America's Health Insurance Plans announced this week that it will go by simply AHIP moving forward, and said it is launching a new tagline: Guiding Greater Health. AHIP's membership includes dozens of the country's largest health plans.

The group formed in 2003 following the merger of the Health Insurance Association of America and the American Association of Health Plans. The changes reflect the organization's first rebranding effort in nearly 20 years and is designed to address the industry's changing dynamics.

Vertical integration is the name of the game, and many health plans are moving from simply providing coverage to also providing care directly. Big hospitals and health systems also frequently operate their own health insurance arms.

RELATED: Healthcare’s vertical mergers kick-started a massive industry shift in 2018. Will it pay off?

AHIP said the rebrand represents the group's "commitment to innovation, solutions, equity and delivering results for every patient in every community."

"We are champions of care, guiding greater health. That’s our mission and it is central to the work that health insurance providers do every day. After a year filled with unprecedented challenges and loss, and at a time when reliable health coverage has never been more important, AHIP is aligning our brand with our mission, our work and the communities we serve,” said Matt Eyles, AHIP president and CEO, in a statement.

“Today, we’re not just changing how we describe our work, but how people think about the role of health insurance providers in their lives, from making coverage and care more affordable to breaking down barriers to good health," Eyles said. "This will help us create more impact with the work we do."

That AHIP would put a greater focus on "guiding greater health" in its lobbying efforts comes as payers are making increasing investments in the provider space. For instance, UnitedHealth Group's Optum subsidiary is one of the country's largest employers of physicians, and the healthcare giant sees significant promise in its provider arm.

Having a massive payer and provider under the same umbrella can, for example, help further value-based care and technology arrangements, making such acquisitions an attractive proposition, UHG executives said at a recent conference.

Humana recently consolidated its healthcare provider services under one brand, CenterWell, and the insurer said that it sees significant opportunity to continue expanding its senior-focused primary care offerings.