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March 21, 2019

A year after the three corporate giants announced plans to join forces, the ABJ venture unveiled its name: Haven. With 1.2 million covered employees and family members, the ABJ venture is poised to shift corporate healthcare. Along with its purchasing power—a lever which the healthcare venture will undoubtedly flex—the trifecta of companies could act as a national case study for a new way to deliver employee benefits.

Here’s what we know, what we expect and what it all means for the insurance industry.

What we know:

  1. The name Haven was born out of its mission: to transform healthcare to create better outcomes and experiences, and to lower costs. The entity is positioning itself as a beacon of safety and security with respect to that mission.
  2. Personalized plan design and a data-driven, integrated clinical network propelled by patient engagement and care management (likely with a “virtual first” entry point) appear to be the underpinning elements of Haven.
  3. PillPack, acquired by Amazon last year, will become the venture’s pharmacy distribution model, which they purport will encourage higher medication adherence and faster deliveries. There will be more to come on this direct-to-consumer model (i.e., is there a role for PBMs?).
  4. Haven does not view itself as a competitor of Optum—which provides healthcare and pharmacy benefits services.

What we expect:

  1. Haven will need to understand how to design a benefits plan that incorporates new, emerging technologies, including everything from telehealth to wearable devices.
  2. Haven could clash with healthcare and Pharma—two of the biggest lobbying entities in Washington—on issues regarding transparency and cost.
  3. Amazon could rely on its experiences as a brick-and-mortar retailer. Since it acquired Whole Foods, Amazon might use those stores as an opportunity to connect with consumers about healthcare. It could send healthy food suggestions or even act as a retail health clinic.