- Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University Health System said they will offer a low-cost health plan if their merger is approved, the Chicago Business Journal reported.
- The plan’s price would be 10% less than that of the lowest-cost competing health maintenance organization.
- The Federal Trade Commission, which must approve the merger, has challenged it on grounds it will drive up prices for patients in the Chicago area.
It’s unclear whether the proposal is enough to ease the FTC’s concerns about the merger, which would combine more than a dozen hospitals and a physician force of more than 2,000. The agency filed a lawsuit to block the marriage in December.
The hospital networks said the insurance plan would only be offered if the merger goes through, giving them a much broader patient base.
If allowed, Advocate and NorthShore plan to offer the low-cost health plan to Chicago area workers, but they would be limited to using physicians in the combined hospital system.