Upon receiving the necessary approval from the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, Minuteman would begin insuring members no later than January 2014, as required by CMS. Minuteman anticipates offering its products to individuals and small businesses through the state Health Insurance Connector and through broker sales channels.
"This is a terrific opportunity to give consumers and small businesses a voice in their health care options," said Ellen Zane, Chair of Minuteman Health's formation board. "The best way to improve health care quality while restraining costs is to align the incentives of insurers, consumers and providers. A member-governed health insurance company will enable consumers to have a say in how their care is provided and paid for."
Minuteman will offer increased transparency, allowing members to easily access their health records and enabling providers to see what services their patients are receiving in order to better manage care. Providers will be able to channel feedback from patients to the plan to help it continually improve. Employers will have access to information about the overall health of their workers to help tailor wellness programs with their employees' providers, and members will be able to see what services cost at different providers in order to better plan for their future costs.
Consumers who get their health insurance from Minuteman Health, whether through the Massachusetts Health Connector or their employer, will become members of the plan. As members, they will ultimately elect the Minuteman Board of Directors, and a majority of the Board will be members. Minuteman is differentiated from other insurance products in several ways – for example, surpluses from the plan will be used to benefit members, either by lowering premiums or improving coverage. Minuteman will serve as an incubator for collaboration between providers, insurers and consumers, pursuing innovations in cost savings and improved health. Minuteman's goal is to provide plans that are easy for consumers to understand, that are more affordable for individuals and employers, and that offer value to providers.