Member companies of the Health Insurance Association of America and the American Association of Health Plans have approved a plan to merge their organizations, and legal changes for the merger should be completed by the end of the week, the AAHP reports.
Combining the 1,000-member AAHP and the 400-member HIAA, both based in Washington, D.C., will create a combined budget of $40 million a year to lobby for a variety of managed care issues, observers say.
AAHP President Karen Ignagni will head the merged group, which will be known as AAHP/HIAA until a new name is approved by the combined boards.
Traditionally, HIAA represented fee-for-service insurers and AAHP represented HMOs, but those differences faded as insurers moved away from fee-for-service and HMO lines to other types of managed care.
"Speaking as one, our goal is to advance the role of the private sector community in confronting the challenges of quality, cost, access, and choice in health care," says AAHP Chairman of the Board William McCallum, president and CEO of Great-West Life, in a release.