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When hospital systems buy health insurers

The New York Times, May 27, 2014
Another hospital system wants to buy another health insurance company, and consumers may well wonder what this trend could mean for them. As reported last week in Modern Healthcare, the St. Louis-based Ascension Health, the country's largest nonprofit hospital system, "is in talks to acquire an unnamed insurance company that operates in 18 states." We've seen this before. One of New York's largest hospital networks recently began offering its own health plan. Several other hospital systems, like California's Sutter Health and Catholic Health Initiatives, which operates in 17 states, among others, have entered the insurance business.