AboutHealth, one of two new health system partnerships in Wisconsin, recently announced plans to sell health plans to individuals and employer groups through a co-branding agreement with Arise Health Plan. Early announcements from AboutHealth have focused on efforts to improve clinical integration and cooperation among its members. The agreement with Arise marks the first instance in which AboutHealth member systems have negotiated a single contract with a health insurance company.

Arise Health Plan is a wholly owned subsidiary of Madison-based Wisconsin Physician Service (WPS). WPS was founded in 1946 to administer the Wisconsin Plan, a health insurance product offered by the state Medical Society. Today, WPS claims to be Wisconsin’s only not-for-profit insurer offering health plans statewide to the public and private sectors. Arise Health Plan has its roots in Prevea Health Plan, which was purchased by WPS in 2005 and rebranded as Arise Health Plan in 2006.

Based in Green Bay, Arise currently offers coverage in 32 counties in the eastern half of Wisconsin primarily through nine health systems. Four of these, Bellin Health, ThedaCare, Aspirus, and Aurora, are members of AboutHealth. Arise’s current health plan network also provides access to Agnesian Healthcare and Prevea Health, two systems that have joined AboutHealth’s rival ACO, Integrated Health Network.

The new AboutHealth-based Arise product will provide access to eight of AboutHealth’s nine member systems: Aurora Healthcare, ProHealth Care, Aspirus, Bellin Health, Gundersen Health System, ThedaCare, and UW Health. AboutHealth’s newest member, Marshfield Clinic Health System, was not a party to the agreement with Arise and will not be participating in the plan at least initially. Due to the larger geographic footprint that access to these health systems will bring, Arise plans to offer the new AboutHealth-based plans in 50 counties next year, both on and off the public exchanges for individuals and small businesses.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel