Amazon and JPMorgan to roll out new health insurance plans as part of Haven joint venture


Dr. Atul Gawande, the new CEO of Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway’s joint healthcare venture, it a well-known surgeon and healthcare reform advocate. (TED Conference Photo / James Duncan Davidson, via Flickr)

Haven Healthcare, a joint venture between Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, created its first offering in the form of health insurance plans for tens of thousands of employees.

Amazon and JPMorgan will offer new plans to employees for 2020 that feature wellness incentives and don’t have any deductibles. Berkshire is testing a similar pilot in a few of their companies. The news was first reported by Bloomberg and later confirmed to GeekWire from spokespeople at the two companies.

Amazon will offer plans through insurance providers in Connecticut, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin. JPMorgan will give nearly 20 percent of its workforce, or 30,000 employees, access to two plans run by Cigna and Aetna in Ohio and Arizona.

JPMorgan’s offering is a “simplified medical plan … [that] is designed to provide clear costs so employees and their families know exactly what they’ll pay before receiving health care,” the Joe Evangelisti, a company spokesman.

Evangelisti added that the plans would include:

  • Free preventive care
  • No coinsurance or deductible
  • $15 copays for visits to in-network primary care doctors
  • A flat fee (fixed copays) for medical services, procedures and prescription drugs
  • Annual out-of-pocket maximums

Thus far, Haven has operated in almost total secrecy, and the insurance plans are the first indication of how the joint venture plans to improve healthcare for employees. Amazon said their plan was “created by Amazon in consultation with Haven and insurance providers.”

Employees will also be encouraged to get and stay healthy through rewards programs — for instance, by maintaining healthy blood pressure, Bloomberg reported.

Haven, which doesn’t seek a profit, has vowed to focus on access to primary care, simpler insurance benefits, and lowering prescription drug prices. “Haven was formed by the leaders of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase because they have been frustrated by the quality, service, and high costs that their employees and families have experienced in the U.S. health system,” Haven CEO Atul Gawande wrote in a blog post in March.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said technologies such as cloud and AI will help improve healthcare, in particular by using an individual’s data to identify and prevent illness. “We’re just beginning,” he said during an event in Seattle in September. “There may be a lot of magic in that.” Dimon also said Haven had hired 50 people.

Amazon launched a primary care program in September called Amazon Care for employees in Seattle that offers virtual primary care, on-demand clinician visits and prescription drug delivery. Amazon Care later acquired Health Navigator, a digital health startup focused on primary care. The online retail giant says the program is unrelated to Haven or the new insurance plans.

Both Amazon and Haven have faced lawsuits and been obstructed by healthcare incumbents who see the organizations’ ambitions in the industry as outsized threats.

Updated at 4:00 p.m. PT with comments from Amazon and JPMorgan Chase.

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