What Happens to Marketing When the Boundaries Between a Medical Institution and an Insurer Blur?

April 1, 2014

by Peter Hochstein

Peter HochsteinThanks to the Affordable Care Act, more hospitals may begin offering health insurance, while insurance com­panies may increasingly supply some limited health care services.

True, a few organizations, perhaps most notably Kaiser Permanente, have explicitly and extensively offered both health care and health insurance for years. And some health plans offer their members a nurse or other expert who can be reached by telephone for limited medical advice. But what will happen if the trend increases?

There may be some useful clues in Massachusetts, where a similar “RomneyCare” law has been in effect since 2006.

“The evolution that the rest of the country is going through? We’re about five years ahead of that,” says Bob Nolan, senior director of communications at Fallon Health, a Worcester, MA, health insurance company that covers nearly the entire state.

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