WellPoint Inc., along with two non-profit insurance companies, has obtained the majority stake in a private health insurance exchange based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The exchange, called Bloom Health Corp., was founded in 2009 and has helped employers in the state find insurance plans that are right for their business and employees. The exchange is one of the first in the country to see any degree of success and has become something of a standard by which other insurance exchanges can be modeled after.
WellPoint, Health Care Service Corp. and Blue Shield of Michigan have all invested in the exchange and now hold majority stake. The insurers will seek to utilize the exchanges’ services in the 19 states they have operations, hoping that these services will be fully operational by the end of next year. The insurers believe that the private exchange will help them compete against federal exchanges that will be in place throughout the country by 2014.
Through Bloom Health, employers can find health insurance plans that are tailored to their needs. The exchange also allows companies to manage their finances by offering them plans whose rates are predictable. Given the fact that rising costs of health care are putting growing strain on the nation’s employers, the ability to accurately predict future expenses will go a long way in allowing them to continue offering employees health care benefits.