Boston Medical Center Jumps Into Commercial Health Insurance Market

Looking for new sources of revenue and positioning itself for national health reform, Boston Medical Center is jumping into the commercial health insurance market with a new plan that looks to be one of the most affordable offered by The Connector.

I asked BMC for a few more details and here, slightly edited, is a response from Scott O’Gorman, Executive Director of BMC HealthNet Plan:

“BMC HealthNet Plan is entering the commercial market place for a few reasons...

We’ve been very successful with our traditional focus on government-subsidized coverage. BMC HealthNet Plan serves nearly 240,000 MassHealth and Commonwealth Care members across Massachusetts. We do, however, want to develop new sources of revenue and we believe we can offer high quality, affordable coverage to employers and individuals in the commercial market. We’ve been recognized for our quality as the #3 Medicaid health plan in the country in the 2011-12 rankings by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

We also want to prepare BMC HealthNet Plan for success with the market place changes coming with full implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act in 2014.

Insurance exchanges will be established across the country, such as we have here in Massachusetts with the Health Connector. The Connector and the other exchanges will be tasked with handling insurance subsidies and coverage transactions in an essentially commercial marketplace. So we will be ready and rolling with our commercial coverage and operations.

While our initial expectations for membership are modest, given our initial commercial service area is limited to the Greater Boston area, we expect our membership will grow as we expand our provider network. So we’re very excited to now be in the marketplace and preparing to serve our first commercial members, whose coverage will become effective on January 1, 2012.

Here's more from The Connector news release:

BOSTON — The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority has added a new commercial insurance carrier to its shelves that will serve people and families who purchase health insurance on their own as well as small businesses.

The BMC HealthNet Plan is now being offered in the Greater Boston area for coverage that takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.

“Increasing the shopping options for individuals and small businesses looking for quality and value is a victory for consumers,” said Health Connector Executive Director Glen Shor. “More competition in the market is good for everyone.”

While new to the commercial market, the carrier has 15 years of managed care experience and serves nearly 240,000 MassHealth and Commonwealth Care members across Massachusetts.

“We are very pleased to participate in Commonwealth Choice and to be able to offer employers and individuals a range of products that we believe are both affordable and include excellent benefits,” said Scott O’Gorman of BMC HealthNet Plan.  “Our health plan has been recognized nationally for quality excellence in other product lines, and we bring that same quality commitment to our Commonwealth Choice and other commercial members.”

BMC HealthNet Plan for individuals, families and small businesses may be purchased through the Health Connector or by calling 1-866-636-4654. Small business owners may also call their broker.

This program aired on November 18, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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