Capital Blue Cross

CASE STUDY: Persistence from Champions Insures Increased Competition

BlueCross.jpgWhen two of Pennsylvania’s largest health insurance companies proposed to merge, forming one of the largest health insurers in the country, consumers and smaller insurance providers feared the merger would reduce competition in the health care industry.

One of the smaller firms, a highly successful provider in its own right, asked Triad Strategies to launch a legislative outreach campaign aimed at ensuring a robust competitive environment. Its message: we will not oppose the merger, as long as we are given permission to compete statewide, and particularly with the new, larger provider.

The key to ensuring a competitive market was to give the insurance commissioner and the legislature additional oversight. Legislation was drafted to that effect. Focusing on the legislators in the client’s 21-county service area, Triad undertook a one-on-one campaign aimed at developing consensus in a divided General Assembly.

As consensus began to build, Triad invited legislators to sign onto letters asking their leadership to advance the oversight legislation. The effort and the pro-competition message proved to be extremely effective. Who could argue with the idea of increasing competition?

The legislation was enacted. The increased oversight gave the insurance commissioner the wherewithal to include pro-competitive measures as conditions for the merger, and the merger was withdrawn.