Five acute-care hospitals and a rehabilitation hospital in the Chicago area will be the providers for a unique insurance plan for suburban small businesses with one to 25 employees, MODERN HEALTHCARE has learned.
The hospitals will provide care for business members of the East West Corporate Corridor Association of Lombard, Ill.
"It's a different approach with a provider alliance, but we think small businesses will catch on, and patients will be steered into those (healthcare) facilities involved," said John Hedborn, director of provider alliances at Star Marketing & Administration, which contracted with EWCCA to build the health plan around the hospitals.
In the first 12 months, Mr. Hedborn expects as many as 15,000 people to be enrolled in the small-business plan. Larger employers eventually will be involved from the EWCCA, which taps a market of 500,000 people.
The healthcare facilities are Copley Memorial Hospital, Aurora, Ill.; Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield, Ill.; EHS Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove, Ill.; Elmhurst (Ill.) Memorial Hospital; La Grange (Ill.) Memorial Hospital; and Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital and Clinics, Wheaton, Ill.
If an employer buys the plan, its employees will have access to any of the facilities. The plan will cover 90% of costs when member providers are used and 60% if an employee goes to another provider.
"We have the right pricing, and it will allow us to come into the market with something no one else has developed," Mr. Hedborn said.
In other related activity, healthcare providers are lining up to bid for a mammoth private healthcare purchasing cooperative that could serve more than 4 million people.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Midwest Business Group on Health and the Chicago Business Group on Health early next year will launch a healthcare purchasing alliance that could serve employees and their dependents from 6,150 companies.
Hospitals and other healthcare providers will begin submitting bids in the next two months.