(Updated at 5:13 p.m. ET)
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase are teaming up to form a healthcare company to serve their U.S. workers in yet another example of large employers taking employee healthcare matters into their own hands to reduce costs.
Details on the new venture were sparse, but the companies said early Tuesday that they will leverage their combined scale and expertise to develop technology solutions to provide employees and their families "simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost."
There are many questions about how the companies plan to tackle the rising cost of providing healthcare benefits, a feat many employers, providers and insurers have attempted only to see U.S. healthcare spending climb even higher.
Even so, healthcare experts were optimistic about the venture's potential, and other industry players on Tuesday were throwing their hats in the ring to partner with the new entity. Share prices of major insurers and pharmacy benefit managers sunk in the wake of the companies' announcement.
"This partnership shows employers are taking the reins in efforts to bring down healthcare costs," said Ryan Marling, a research associate at the Clayton Christensen Institute. "It may be a particularly great opportunity for Amazon to work with these established companies in fertile grounds for innovation."