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Ex-UnitedHealth team to lead startup health insurer


Former UnitedHealthcare CEO Bob Sheehy is heading new health insurance startup Bright Health Inc.

Minneapolis-based Bright Health, which will enter its first market in the 2017 plan year, announced Wednesday that it has raised $80 million in funding.

The funding will be used to support Bright Health's nationwide rollout to the individual health insurance marketplace, according to a company statement Wednesday.

According to the statement, the technology-focused startup will partner with leading health care systems in each market, providing them with incentives to practice efficient, high-quality health care.

Bright Health's individual health insurance plans will be offered directly to consumers through broker partners and through public and private health insurance exchanges, the company said.

Bright Health also plans to begin offering Medicare Advantage plans in 2018, according to the statement.

Bright Health co-founder Mr. Sheehy, a longtime UnitedHealthcare executive who was CEO of the organization from 2000 to 2008, takes the helm as CEO of Bright Health.

Other co-founders including Kyle Rolfing, the former CEO of UnitedHealth Group Inc. company Definity Health Corp. and RedBrick Health Corp., serves as Bright Health's president, and Dr. Tom Valdivia, the former chief health consumer officer of Definity Health, is Bright Health's chief medical officer.

“There's a better way to better health,” Mr. Sheehy said in the statement. “We are realigning the broken payer-provider relationship, focusing on the consumer and reimagining how technology can simplify the healthcare experience from beginning to end. Making that happen and starting a new health plan is no small feat, but we're confident we have the right team and model to create real and necessary change.”

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