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Group Health members to see no plan changes this year after sale to Kaiser Permanente

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 8, 2017, 6:10 p.m.

More than 65,000 members of Group Health Cooperative in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area will see no change in their health insurance plans or benefits this year as a result of Kaiser Permanente’s acquisition of the Seattle-based nonprofit health care system.

The sale was completed last week, and the Group Health name on facilities, online and in other materials is set to switch to Kaiser Permanente March 6. Members are receiving welcome letters and new identification cards.

Group Health members who selected plans in the open enrollment period for this year will see no change in their 2017 premiums, benefits or cost shares, said Angela Matson, a spokeswoman with Group Health.

“Members can continue to rely on the doctors and care teams they count on, and can continue to receive care at the same locations and hospitals they did before the acquisition,” Matson said.

Kaiser Permanente said it will transfer $1.8 billion into a new community nonprofit to continue Group Health’s mission. It also plans to invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to expand and modernize facilities and technologies and improve care and service for members.

Group Health has 600,000 members in Washington and North Idaho and annual income of $3.5 billion. That includes 55,681 members in Spokane County, 7,398 in the Palouse region and 2,481 in Kootenai County.

With the acquisition, California-based Kaiser now serves more than 11.3 million members in eight states and Washington, D.C., and reported $60 billion in 2015 revenue.


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