Payers, Startups

Well-capitalized insurtech Bright Health plans to double its footprint in 2020

The company’s latest growth push would put Bright in 22 markets across 13 states, including major metropolitan areas like Maricopa County in Arizona, Denver, Jacksonville, Tampa, Chicago, New York City and Cleveland.

Minneapolis-based insurance startup Bright Health – which was co-founded by former UnitedHealthcare CEO Bob Sheehy – has announced plans to expand its service to 13 new markets, including seven new states.

Started in 2016, the company has grown to cover more than 60,000 members and is backed by $440 million in venture capital funding from the likes of Most recently Bright raised a $200 million Series C round that valued the company at $950 million.

Initially launched in Colorado, Bright has ramped up its presence considerably first pushing to Arizona and Alabama before expanding into nine new markets new markets including metropolitan areas in Ohio, Tennessee and New York in 2019. In its latest growth push, Bright plans to offer plans for the first time in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nebraska and South Carolina.

The company’s latest growth push would put Bright in 22 markets across 13 states, including major metropolitan areas like Maricopa County in Arizona, Denver, Jacksonville, Tampa, Chicago, New York City and Cleveland.

Bright’s primary business started the individual markets, but the insurer has branched out to provide both Medicare Advantage and supplemental plans. The company’s Bright Health Secure supplemental plan covers additional out of pocket health expenses.

The insurer’s relies on a narrow network strategy in which it generally works exclusively with one health system per market and offers a co-branded insurance product to patients. Brights touts this this close integration as being able to better coordinate care, lower out-of-pocket costs and limit unnecessary and costly services.

“With decades of experience under our belts, we knew it would take a radical change to fix healthcare, and we’ve found that many consumers, investors and health systems agree,” Sheehy said in a statement.

“Bright Health is leading the charge in the formation of truly collaborative relationships with our Care Partner networks to track savings, share data and rein in costs, all while personalizing the patient experience.”

Based on the company’s growth trajectory that strategy has worked thus far, with Bright projecting to take in around $400 million in revenue for 2019.

Bright’s roughly 60,000 members still pales in comparison to traditional incumbents like Aetna, Anthem and UnitedHealth Group, but the startup is hoping its more efficient and consumer-oriented approach will be a competitive advantage.

For both groups Medicare Advantage looks to be a major growth market, especially as CMS has opened up the ability to offer more supplemental benefits to beneficiaries.

To be sure, Bright is just one in a crop of well-funded startups vying to shoulder into the tier of top-ranked health insurance companies. Competitors like Clover Health, Devoted Health and Oscar Health (which recently announced its Medicare Advantage launch markets) have all taken in hundreds of millions of dollars of investor money.

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