Harken Health to enter Florida's 2017 marketplace, offer no co-pays for primary care

If Florida insurance regulators give Harken Health Insurance the green light to enter the state, individuals purchasing health coverage could have a co-pay free option in 2017, InsuranceNewsNet reported.

Florida's Broward and Miami-Dade counties could be the next test market for Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth subsidiary Harken Health, which currently covers 35,000 members throughout its six centers in Atlanta and four in Chicago. Harken aims to reshape healthcare by collecting a "membership fee" from each individual, rather than charging premiums. Members also visit "health centers," where they receive team care, access to prescription drugs, health coaches, and yoga and nutrition classes.

UnitedHealth is Harken Health's only investor, though the two affiliates operate independently. The affiliation allows Harken Health consumers to access UnitedHealth's Compass Plus provider network, which could lead to success for Harken Health in south Florida, where Miami-based Baptist Health operates.

Larry Levitt, senior vice president of Kaiser Family Foundation, told InsuranceNewsNet south Florida is a strong market and said there is "a ready base of customers and the marketplace is very price competitive. If they can make it work at a lower premium there's potential for it to gain market share very quickly."

Harken Health's plans are still under review by the state, though it is licensed to operate in Florida. 

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