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Bright Health to expand its health plan model to 13 new markets for 2020

The expansion marks a nearly 300% increase in product offerings compared to 2019.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Bright Health headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Bright Health headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Bright Health will begin offering health plans in 13 new markets across seven states in 2020.

For the first time, the company will offer plans in major cities in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina, along with a statewide presence in both rural and urban counties in Nebraska.

It is also expanding its product offerings in existing markets, for a total footprint of 22 markets in 12 states.

Bright Health offers individual and family plans, Medicare Advantage plans and supplemental plans, depending on the market.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Bright Health, founded by former UnitedHealthcare CEO Bob Sheehy in 2016, has been expanding its narrow network model of aligning the insurer to one health system per market.

It calls itself a consumer-focused health insurance and technology company, able to track savings, share data and rein in costs. Under its Health Plan Care Partner Model, members get a personalized and affordable experience, fully coordinated care, referral-free specialist visits and see lower out-of-pocket costs. Its plans realize fewer readmissions and emergency room visits and a reduction in duplicate testing.

Investors see promise in the model's trajectory. During last year's open enrollment period, Bright Health closed a $200M Series C financing round, bringing total funding raised to $440M, the company said.

THE LARGER TREND

Once the bane of healthcare as health maintenance organizations in the 1980s, narrow networks have been back in demand since 2014 when insurers began offering these less expensive plans in the Affordable Care Act market.

For 2019, Bright Health expanded its model in nine new markets across four states.

Prior to its recently announced expansion, Bright Health offered plans in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, New York, Ohio and Tennessee.

ON THE RECORD

"In just four years, we've grown from serving consumers in our pilot market of Colorado to serving tens of thousands of members across six states. This substantial growth shows that consumers are hungry for a new healthcare model that is simple, personal and more affordable," said Bright Health CEO Bob Sheehy. "We've been able to meet this demand because our Health Plan Care Partner Model allows us to scale quickly and effectively, and our significant expansion in 2020 is further validation of that."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com