Haunted by past stigma, rebranded HMOs mount a resurgence

 In News

Health maintenance organization (HMO) plans are making a comeback as an affordable option for healthcare coverage, even as payers continue to battle negative consumer perceptions that the plans limit choices, according to The New York Times.

Despite past criticisms that HMOs limit coverage and potentially lead to lower quality care, more insurers are offering beefed-up HMO plans on state exchanges. More than half of the plans offered on Affordable Care Act exchanges are “narrow network” plans that are attractive to consumers looking for lower out-of-pocket costs.

Insurers are looking to rebrand HMOs, even advocating for new names like “high-performing network” in an effort to escape the negative connotations associated with HMOs, according to the Times. Last year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois partnered with Advocate Health Care to create BlueCare direct, the cheapest plan on the state exchange that attracted 60,000 consumers in 2016. Blue Cross lobbied to change the plan’s name to HIO (health improvement organization), but state regulators denied the proposal.

Read the full article: FierceHealthPayer

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