These days, if you’re an insurer and you’re not buying into the health care provider space, you’re falling behind. And insurers are coming up with all sorts of creative ways to plant their flags.
The latest such deal is Cigna’s massive, $2.5 billion investment in the primary care provider VillageMD, which is owned by Walgreens, and which is itself in the process of gobbling up the multi-speciality provider Summit Health. Executives say this venture is about value-based care. That well-worn phrase is usually code for Medicare Advantage, Medicare-approved private insurance for people over 65. Cigna, however, is using this deal to test the value model on a new, unproven group of patients: the younger, healthier crowd that gets health insurance through their jobs, known as the commercial market.