Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts Health Plan officially combine

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Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan have officially combined, the companies announced. (Pixabay/rawpixel)(Pixabay / rawpixel)

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan have officially combined, the companies announced Monday.

The merger took effect Jan. 1 after clearing required regulatory approvals, according to the announcement. The combined nonprofit health plan will serve 2.4 million members in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Tom Croswell, CEO of Tufts Health Plan, will serve as chief executive of the new combined organization.

“This combination brings together the expertise of two great companies with rich legacies, and strongly preserves nonprofit health insurance coverage in our region,” Croswell said in a statement. “We will build upon our unwavering commitment to serve the needs of our diverse communities and our members, regardless of age, health, race, identity or income.”

RELATED: Partners, Harvard Pilgrim put merger talks on ice

The companies say their combination will increase access for members, allow for greater innovation and improve the member experience.

In addition, by combining administrative efforts, the new organization expects to save more than $100 million over time that will go toward premium savings and reducing out-of-pocket costs.

"As one organization, we look forward to addressing the complex health care issues and challenges of today, tomorrow and in the future,” said Joyce Murphy, chair of the board for the combined organization.

In December, the Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust suit to block the merger if Tufts did not divest Tufts Health Freedom Plan, the company's commercial insurance holding in New Hampshire.