Tufts Health Plan and Granite Healthcare Network to Launch NH-based Health Insurance Company, Tufts Health Freedom Plan

First of its kind joint venture in New Hampshire between a health insurance company and

Published 3/4/2015

First of its kind joint venture in New Hampshire between a health insurance company and health systems to bring high-quality, cost-effective, accessible care to members

Combining clinical expertise and a focus on population health management with market leading insurance products and provider network designs, Tufts Health Plan, ranked the No. 1 health insurance plan in the country*, and Granite Healthcare Network, comprising five of New Hampshire’s largest high-value health systems, have signed an agreement to create anew and innovative insurance company. To be known as Tufts Health Freedom Plan, the company willprovide residents of New Hampshire with highly coordinated and cost-effective quality health care coverage. Brian Wells, an experienced health care executive, will serve as president of the new company.


The five Granite Healthcare Network systems—Catholic Medical Center, Concord Hospital, LRGHealthcare, Southern New Hampshire Health System and Wentworth-Douglass Health System—arethe premier, value-based delivery systems in the state and will form the core of Tufts Health Freedom Plan’s provider network. 


Granite Healthcare Networkand Tufts Health Plan share a commitment to coordinating care and promoting evidence-based care practices to achieve the best health outcomes for members.


“Tufts Health Freedom Plan was created to meet the needs of the residents of New Hampshire – to provide superior care management along with innovative health insurance products, all with the commitment to stabilize health care costs for our members and the business community,” said Thomas Croswell, president and chief operating officer of Tufts Health Plan.


Tufts Health Freedom Plan will offer an array of health plans for employers and their employees and will collaborate with other providers in New Hampshire to deliver affordable, quality health insurance. Members will have access to a broad provider network centered around New Hampshire’s high value delivery systems that are committed to providing quality care for patients, better health for communities and lower growth in the cost of care.



“Granite Healthcare Network is extremely proud to partner with Tufts Health Plan to create an innovative insurance company focused on accessible and comprehensive person-centered care. Tufts Health Freedom Plan is unique in that it brings together clinical excellence and administrative expertise to provide New Hampshire’s families with a broad network of health care providers committed to providing high quality, cost-effective care,” said Rachel Rowe, executive director of Granite Healthcare Network.


About Brian Wells

Brian Wells is an experienced leader in the health insurance sector, having worked nationally and regionally, including New Hampshire. Most recently, Wells served as CEO of Memorial Hermann Health Solutions (MHHS), part of Memorial Hermann Health System of Houston, an integrated health delivery system. At MHHS, which offers health insurance options for employers, Wells was responsible for all operations, sales, marketing, and financial and medical management. His prior experience also includes CIGNA Healthcare and Coventry Healthcare of Florida. Wells and his family reside in New Hampshire.


“Both Tufts Health Plan and Granite Healthcare have a proven track record of success and know how to care for and serve their respective members and patients,” said Wells. “It’s an exciting opportunity to leverage the strengths of each organization as we launch and grow Tufts Health Freedom Plan and bring more affordable and highly coordinated health care to the market.”


Board of Directors

Tufts Health Freedom Plan also named the following business executives to the inaugural board of directors:

·        Derek Abruzzese, chief strategy officer, Tufts Health Plan

·        Joseph B. Reilly, New Hampshire regional president, Eastern Bank

·        Michael S. Rose, senior vice president/chief financial officer, Southern New Hampshire Health System

·        Marc Spooner, president, Commercial Products,Tufts Health Plan

·        Robert Steigmeyer, president and CEO, Capital Region Health Care and Concord Hospital 


Tufts Health Freedom Plan will seek an insurance license from the New Hampshire Department of Insurance and approval for product designs and rates once licensed, with a plan to launch operations by Jan. 1, 2016.




About Granite Healthcare Network

The Granite Healthcare Network is a partnership of five independent New Hampshire charitable organizations leading the transformation of health care delivery in the communities they serve. Catholic Medical Center, Concord Hospital, LRGHealthcare, Southern New Hampshire Health System and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital are committed to sharing resources to provide better, more seamless and less expensive care for their patients. The partnership shares a charitable mission and together provides more than $160 million in community benefits every year.


Granite Healthcare Network hospitals employ more than 10,000 people and serve more than a third of the state’s population.


For more information, visit granitehealth.org.


About Tufts Health Plan

Founded in 1979, Tufts Health Plan is nationally recognized for its commitment to providing innovative, high-quality health care coverage. Touching the lives of more than one million members, Tufts Health Plan serves members in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, offering coverage across the life span regardless of age or circumstance.


Tufts Health Plan is ranked the No. 1 private health plan in the country.* Its Medicaid plan is also ranked No. 1 in the country.** Its Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO and Senior Care Options plans earned a 4.5 star rating - based on a five-star scale - from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for 2015.


Tufts Health Plan is also currently ranked for “highest member satisfaction among commercial health plans in the New England region” by J.D. Power.


For more information, visit TuftsHealthPlan.com.




* The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Private Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2014-2015.

** NCQA’s Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2014-2015.





Rachel Rowe, Executive Director

Granite Healthcare Network




Sonya Hagopian

Tufts Health Plan