11/19/19

Carle, FirstCarolinaCare enter health insurance partnership

Under the terms of the agreement, Carle will become the majority owner of FirstCarolinaCare. FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company (FCCI) and Health Alliance – part of the Carle health system – agreed to the terms of a joint venture to provide health insurance products in North Carolina. FCCI is a not-for-profit insurance company which is a wholly owned subsidiary of FirstHealth of the Carolinas (FHC). 

Under the terms of the agreement, Carle will become the majority owner of FirstCarolinaCare. FHC will continue to have an active role in FCCI as a minority owner.

“As a vertically integrated system, Carle specializes in identifying options throughout the care continuum to best serve patients and members when and where they need it,” said Dennis Hesch, executive vice president, chief financial and strategy officer for Carle and chief executive officer of Health Alliance.

“FirstCarolinaCare shares our vision of continuous improvement to achieve top-decile care. By partnering with health plans, providers, researchers and innovators, we’re striving to deliver world-class care and service, and we look forward to working with FirstCarolinaCare to strengthen how we support members together.”

Health Alliance this month became a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business with an A+ rating in Illinois. The timing of the honor is especially helpful for consumers. The Medicare Advantage Annual Enrollment Period ends Dec. 7, and enrollment for Individual and Family plans ends Dec. 15. In 2019, Health Alliance also was awarded “Highest Member Satisfaction among Commercial Health Plans in the Illinois/Indiana Region” in the J.D. Power 2019 Member Health Plan Study.

Licensed by the North Carolina Department of Insurance in 2000, FCCI provides group health insurance coverage to more than 200 businesses across the state. The company began offering a Medicare Advantage with prescription drug (MAPD) product in 2013. The MAPD plan serves nearly 7,000 members in Moore, Lee, Hoke, Montgomery, Chatham, Scotland, Richmond, Wake, Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania, McDowell, Yancy, Madison and New Hanover counties.

“We are excited to partner with Carle,” said Mickey W. Foster, CEO of FirstHealth of the Carolinas. “Our partnership with Carle will assist FCCI in improving our operational capabilities while strategically positioning both organizations for the future.”

FirstCarolinaCare and Health Alliance will continue as separate companies and retain their respective names in the markets each serves. The transaction is expected to be finalized by December 31, 2019, pending state and federal regulatory review and closing conditions.

“The intent of this transaction is to bring us the added operational capabilities and capital to serve members,” said Craig Humphrey, president of FirstCarolinaCare. “The transaction will be seamless for members. There will be no disruption to the benefits or the provider network, and no change in our high-touch personal service to our groups and members.

“Partnering with Carle means sharing best practices, resources, care management solutions, and learning new ways to engage members in their health with a big focus on wellness.”