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Two large MA health plans may merge

Massachusett's second- and third-largest health plans, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, are set to tell their employees today that they are exploring a merger that would reshape the region's health insurance landscape. Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts are close to signing a memorandum of understanding that would combine their operations in four New England states and make them a stronger competitor to the market leader, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, in their home state, according to several people who have been briefed on the transaction. They asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the deal. Consumer advocates said it is unclear how the insurers' subscribers might be affected by the union, which would leave Massachusetts with only two major health companies.
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