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Anthem subsidiary joins with local health system to form regional insurer

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A Wisconsin unit of health insurer Anthem Inc. and Milwaukee-based health system Aurora Health Care say they are partnering to form a health insurer that will market plans to large and medium-size employers.

Wisconsin Collaborative Insurance Co., a joint venture in which Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin and Aurora each own 50%, will offer commercial health insurance dubbed Well Priority, Anthem said Wednesday in a statement.

As its name implies, Well Priority will focus on promoting wellness, which should lead to reduced out-of-pocket costs for members and lower rates of illness, Anthem said.

Members will have access to the program in 45 counties in Wisconsin, where most of the state’s residents live. The venture also will provide onsite options for employers.

In addition to Aurora, Well Priority’s network of hospitals and doctors includes Aspirus, Bellin Health Systems, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Gundersen Health System, ProHealth Care, ThedaCare, UW Health, UnityPoint Health-Meriter and other clinics, according to the statement.

Wisconsin Collaborative Insurance will start selling Well Priority plans in mid-2016, with most new group plans starting Jan. 1, 2017, Anthem said.

“We’ll be focused on keeping consumers healthy and actively engaged in their care to help them live well,” John Foley, Aurora’s senior vice president of business development and president of Wisconsin Collaborative Insurance, said in the statement. “When patients do need care, we’ll make sure that they receive the right level of care and in an appropriate setting through individualized care plans.”