Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care officially come together

Contact:
Phil Tracey/philip_tracey@harvardpilgrim.org
Kathleen Makela/kathleen_makela@tufts-health.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care officially come together

Combination creates a preeminent, nonprofit regional health services organization, focused on improving affordability, increasing access to high-quality care, and enhancing the member experience

 Highlights:

  • The new organization will serve 2.4 million members in every segment of the market, regardless of a person’s age, health, race, identity, or income.
  • It will be a leading nonprofit across New England, with new scale, cost efficiencies, and a continued commitment to community.

Wellesley, Mass., and Watertown, Mass., (January 4, 2021) – Today, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan announced their organizations have formally combined, effective January 1, 2021, having received all regulatory approvals.

The newly combined nonprofit organization will become one of the region’s largest health services organizations, providing high-quality health coverage in every segment of the market. It will build simpler, smarter, and more seamless experiences – while investing in programs that continually enhance quality and guide members and communities with deep empathy.

“This combination brings together the expertise of two great companies with rich legacies, and strongly preserves nonprofit health insurance coverage in our region,” said Tom Croswell, CEO of the new combined organization. Croswell formerly served as president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan. “We will build upon our unwavering commitment to serve the needs of our diverse communities and our members, regardless of age, health, race, identity, or income.”

“I’m proud of the extraordinary collaboration between the executive teams and the boards of directors of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in building an organization dedicated to focusing on what is best for our members and the communities we are proud to serve. As one organization, we look forward to addressing the complex health care issues and challenges of today, tomorrow and in the future,” said Joyce Murphy, chair of the board for the combined organization.

Over time, more than $100 million in savings is anticipated through administrative synergies which will go directly to mitigating premium increases and member out-of-pocket burden.

The new organization’s commitments to its stakeholders are paramount:

  • Access for all
    Our diverse communities have diverse needs.  We will build quality solutions that work regardless of a person’s age, health, race, identity, or income.
  • Pace setting innovation
    Looking beyond the status quo to bring together wide-ranging partners and perspectives for ideas that solve health care’s challenges.
  • Better experiences
    Improving experiences by making them simpler, smarter, and more seamless than the day before.
  • Health navigation
    Guiding members and communities with deep empathy to find their best version of health and wellness.  With behavioral health an integral part of overall health, prioritizing the integration of medical and behavioral health management is a top priority for the new organization.

Living up to these commitments, an immediate area of focus for the new organization is the coronavirus pandemic. With the pandemic continuing to have a devastating impact on our communities, an initial investment of $1 million will be made to support education, awareness and outreach related to the vaccine, especially in Black and Brown communities, where the virus has had a disproportionate and tragic impact. This investment is in addition to the over $10 million already committed by both organizations, as well as the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, to advance pandemic recovery and racial justice. The combined organization, its foundations, and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute will collaborate on this pandemic response to achieve the greatest community impact, building upon critical initiatives already in place. The new organization is developing its long-term strategy and investment plans related to health equity, behavioral health, complex care management, and telehealth.

“Built on the strong foundation and history of both organizations, Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts Health Plan bring together two of New England’s leading and innovative nonprofit health services organizations with decades of dedication to serving their members and communities,” said Michael Carson, president of the combined organization and previously president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim. “We are excited and eager to start this journey as one organization with a vision of transforming how health care is accessed, aligning a fragmented system and guiding our members and communities to better health and a better health care experience.”

The senior leaders of the organization include:

  • Tom Croswell, CEO
  • Michael Carson, President
  • Tisa Hughes, Chief Legal Officer
  • Umesh Kurpad, Chief Financial Officer
  • Kristin Lewis, Chief Government Affairs Officer
  • Cynthia Ring, Chief People Officer
  • Michael Sherman, MD, Chief Medical Officer
  • Marc Spooner, Chief Operating Officer

Philanthropy and corporate citizenship will remain a cornerstone of the newly combined organization. In 2020 alone, the Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Foundations committed more than $17 million to support pandemic relief, advance racial justice, and through regular giving programs. Over time, the two foundations will come together as one, continuing to make important investments in the five states where we have the privilege to serve members.

While Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care are officially one organization, both heritage brands and products will remain in the market for a period of time, and the benefits, programs and services its members rely on will not change in 2021 as a result of the combination.  The new organization’s headquarters will be located in Canton, MA; move in is slated to begin in Q4 of this year.  The new organization also anticipates announcing its new name in the second quarter of 2021.

About the new combined organization

The combination of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care represents the coming together of two of New England’s most iconic nonprofit health care companies. Representing nearly 90 years of service to our members and the community, together we are building upon our diverse legacies and innovative collaboration by making it our purpose to guide and empower healthier lives for our members – no matter their age, health, race, identity, or income.

We strive to be a different kind of nonprofit health and wellbeing company, with a broad range of health plans, and innovative tools that make navigating health and wellbeing easier, guiding our members at every step of their health care journey to better health outcomes. We are committed to providing high-quality and affordable health care, improving the health and wellness of our members, and creating healthier communities throughout New England.

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