Startup Bright Health steps into gap left by United, Humana exchange exits

By Annette Boyle

The departures of Humana and UnitedHealth from Colorado's Affordable Care Act exchange has created an opportunity for startup insurer Bright Health to test an integrated business model, according to Bloomberg.

Bright Health plan members will choose a primary care physician from the Centura Health system to manage their care, and the companies will implement programs to manage chronic diseases and control costs.

Under the leadership of former United executive Bob Sheehy, Bright Health plans to pilot this strategy in Colorado before expanding into three to five additional markets over the next five years, the article says.

"What we've seen, particularly in the individual market, is that the old insurance model doesn't work," Sheehy tells Bloomberg. "A better model is one that really aligns the care provider, the physicians and the hospitals, financially, with the insurance company."

Centura Health was previously an exclusive provider for Colorado HealthOP, a consumer operated and oriented plan that announced it was closing last October.

Pam Nicholson, the health system's senior vice president of strategy, tells Bloomberg that Centura will not take on financial risk in its agreement with Bright Health, but says the firms were "financially aligned."

Bright Health's model adopts an increasingly popular strategy for marketplace insurers. For example, United is testing out a similar strategy for exchange plans offered through its Harken Health subsidiary, which has affiliated clinics in Atlanta and Chicago that emphasize "relationship-based primary care."

To learn more:
- read the article

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