Chicago-based healthcare insurer Black-Led expands to 32 other states and DC
Zing health, a black-founded Medicare Advantage insurer, is expanding into 32 additional states and the District of Columbia with its acquisition of Lasso Healthcare.
The deal will allow Chicago-based Zing, a healthcare insurer run by black doctors, to purchase Harrisburg, Pa., Lasso, a provider of medicare-related services for thousands of Americans.
The two companies lined up on a deal because of their like-minded approach, Dr Eric Whitaker, CEO and founder of Zing Health, told Home Health Care News. He explained to Black Enterprise via email what made this acquisition unique. âOther Medicare Advantage acquisitions have been made by companies that have had multiple branches like commercial insurance or employer insurance – ours is strictly Medicare Advantage. “
Zing was founded in 2019 by two black doctors / entrepreneurs, Whitaker and Dr Kenneth Alleyne, and co-founder, director of black health, Garfield Collins. The company offers Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to underfunded seniors, primarily in the Midwest, who are often minorities living in low-income and / or rural areas who might otherwise not have access to health care adequate. Lasso has a national reach and a business model providing affordable coverage to seniors across the country.
Reflecting on the deal, Zing Health reports that the addition of Lasso provides “a national footprint to reach diverse communities with innovative Medicare Advantage health plans that lower the cost of high quality care.” Zing joins other new and existing health insurance companies in using acquisitions and mergers to spur the growing health insurance business, observers say.
The pact means Zing will expand into rural markets that could help it target Medicare-eligible seniors who may have difficulty accessing traditional insurance networks.
âThe rural community is important,â Whitaker told Black Enterprise by email. âSo far, we’ve focused on diverse urban communities and brought rural into that as an addition that makes an impact. “
Financial terms of the deal and its impact on Zing’s revenue were not disclosed. But Whitaker said the acquisition was funded with a combination of cash and stock. Once the pact is made – which is expected to take place at the end of the third quarter of 2021 – Lasso will operate under Zing’s leadership but will continue to offer his Medicare Savings Account (MSA) plans as he always has.
Typically, a Medicare Advantage plan, such as an HMO or PPO, is offered by private companies approved by Medicare. They are sometimes referred to as âPart Câ or âMAâ plans.
Whitaker noted that the Lasso Office of the Medicare Advantage plan includes a medical savings account. “We believe that as more and more employers offer health savings accounts as part of insurance, potential customers will become more familiar with this potential product, and we hope to be the primary company to offer this product. option across the country. “
So how does this acquisition set Zing apart from other insurers?
âThis is a capital intensive business,â says Whitaker. âMost of the other players we’re competing against have raised close to a billion dollars. We are a founded black doctor. We target diverse urban and rural populations. This sets us apart from other insurers; it is not their mission.
Additionally, Zing sees home care providers as potential partners as it grows and targets the elderly.
âI think home health and care is a critical part of the health of older members who are living their best lives,â Whitaker told Home Health Care News. âAnd we’re excited – as Zing Health and Lasso Healthcare – to work with the industry to find new and better ways to serve our senior members. “
Whitaker reflected on how the deal came to be.
âOur investors were trying to understand third-party distribution. Ritter Insurance Marketing, which owned Lasso, is the fourth largest field marketing organization in the country. In the midst of due diligence on another subject, we stumbled upon Lasso. We did not seek to go and make an acquisition of any kind. It was just opportunistic.