Health insurers in the US market are investing and acquiring private companies as changes from new healthcare legislation continue to reshape their sector.
After the passage of the Affordable Care Act legislation, the US health insurance market was shaken up by a number of new dynamics, including the growth in numbers of covered people, the introduction of health exchanges, and the new emphasis on preventive medicine. Even though the current health regulatory landscape has been in flux, the shift to value-based medicine has not changed and insurers are still looking for more ways to manage the health of their covered population, differentiate their offerings, and get new datasets, among other efforts.
To do this, some of the larger health insurance companies have looked to private markets for investments or acquisitions. We used CB Insights Business Social Graph to map out the private market activity of the largest insurers by US health insurance market share.
Due to large amounts of recent consolidation in the industry, we included the activity of health insurers which had an independent brand at the end of 2014 regardless of current ownership. Some examples of consolidation include WellPoint, which is now owned by Anthem, as well as the Anthem/Cigna merger which is still under scrutiny. Our analysis includes:
- BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners
- Health Care Service Corporation
- Humana Ventures
- Kaiser Permanente
- Kaiser Permanente Ventures
- UnitedHealth Group
- WellCare Health Plans
Notes: Corporations that are part of the Bluecross BlueShield network (as well as their subsidiaries) were considered for this analysis individually for those with large enough market share (ie. Anthem, Highmark Health Care Service Corporations, etc.). In addition, BlueCross’ centralized venture firm, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners was included in this analysis.
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Note: Investments are noted by green lines. Acquisitions by orange lines.
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- This cohort was involved in a total of 141 transactions (investments and acquisitions) between Q1’12 and Q1’17. Blue Cross Blue Shield Ventures had the most activity with 42 deals alone.
- Of the total 141 transactions across all the investors, 63 of them were in digital health. Blue Cross was also the most active in this space, with investments in 19 unique digital health companies during this time including higi, Oncology Analytics, and Hello Health.
- Humana had the most acquisitions with 7 and an emphasis on elderly care, including Arcadian Management Services, American Eldecare, and SeniorBridge Family. The company hasn’t made any acquisitions since 2015 however.
- Omada Health was the only company during this time period to have multiple investors among top health insurers (Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Humana Ventures). Other companies have multiple insurers investors but those investments were pre-2012 and those investors did not follow-on (such as BlueCross with Healthbox Global Partners).
- There were several companies in the Medicaid space that were acquired or received investment, including Simply Healthcare Plans (Aetna), Amerigroup (WellPoint), and Benestream (Bluecross BlueShield Venture Partners)
- Most of the investments occurred at the Series A and B stage, which took 18 and 20 deals, respectively, including deals into Audax Health, Solera Health, and Contessa Health.
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