Concord Monitor: Minute Man Health plans to offer broad N.H. network on marketplace in 2015
By SARAH PALERMO
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Business leaders from across the state got their first chance Wednesday to say hello to someone who very much wants to be their friend.
Tom Policelli, CEO of Minuteman Health, came to Concord for a brief speech and meet-and-greet at the headquarters of the New Hampshire Hospital Association.
He stood behind a podium decked in his company’s signature orange signs with a logo meant to resemble spray-painted graffiti. It’s the same marketing materials the company uses in Massachusetts, and it will be the look of Minuteman Health in New Hampshire, too.
“It’s almost blinding, which is fine. We’re here to disrupt things. We’re not here to be subtle,” Policelli said.
The Massachusetts-based insurance cooperative has applied for a license to operate in New Hampshire selling policies both on and off the state’s marketplace for 2015. The state Department of Insurance has almost finished reviewing the application, according to a statement from Commissioner Roger Sevigny.
“We are pleased that marketplace customers are likely to have more choices in 2015 than they do today,” he said, noting that Harvard Pilgrim Health Care officials have also said that company plans to sell policies on the marketplace next year.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only company selling plans on the marketplace for 2014.
That monopoly and some other factors mean “right now, New Hampshire looks like a lot of opportunity,” Policelli said.
“New Hampshire has historically been a difficult market for carriers. Carriers have come in, had a rough time and left,” he said.
“But right now New Hampshire is so heavily consolidated, there’s a real opportunity for a value-oriented carrier to come in and present another opportunity,” Policelli said. “Do we think we are going to have 80 percent market share anytime soon? No, we don’t. Can we present an alternative that will be attractive to many people in the state? We believe we will.”
The company received $80 million for start-up costs and initial loss coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act to launch in Massachusetts and an additional $76 million to launch in New Hampshire.
Anthem raised the ire of many residents, politicians and local officials in New Hampshire by excluding 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals from its network for the new marketplace plans.
Policelli said Minuteman is still negotiating with providers in New Hampshire over membership on its network when it does launch, but it is committed to operating with a broad network.
“Our goal is to speak with every single one and try to get them all in on terms that will work with them and our members,” he said. “If the conversations in which we’re engaged now work out, we believe we will hit a competitive price point and have a broader network."