Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan said Wednesday that they plan to combine to create the region’s largest nonprofit health organization.
Harvard Pilgrim, based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, already operates in Maine. This will be Tufts’ first foray into the state. Tufts is based in Watertown, Massachusetts.
The new nonprofit organization, yet to be named, will have close to 2.4 million members in all New England states but Vermont.
Harvard Pilgrim in June submitted a filing to the Maine Bureau of Insurance to increase its premiums an average of 1.9 percent starting in January 2020.
The board of directors of the combined businesses will have an equal number of representatives from both organizations. Joyce Murphy, who currently is board chair for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, will chair the new organization.
Tom Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan, will be its CEO. And Michael Carson, who is president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, will be president.
Crowell said communities and consumers face four major hurdles in health care: affordability, access, quality of health and fragmented health care across various health systems.
“We believe we can tackle these issues,” he said in a statement.
The agreement, which was unanimously approved by both boards, is subject to multiple local and federal regulatory approvals. Until they get the approvals, the companies will remain independent.