It's unclear which companies Harken will be competing with in
About 1 million people in
Vanderheyden said the primary-care clinics will be staffed with physicians, nurses and others and that the centers will be accessible to Harken members "free of charge" during set operating hours. Centers will include doctors offices and community rooms where members can take yoga lessons or learn to cook healthy meals, he said.
For members who need specialized medical care, Vanderheyden said, "we have one of the largest networks of specialists and facilities available. Period." But he declined to name any of those providers.
The health coaches, he said, will help members navigate the healthcare system -- from arranging doctor appointments to ensuring patients are getting their prescription medications.
Harken's model for ACA plans launched this year in
11 Insurers filed requests to sell coverage in
The company will enter
But Harken's model, with primary-care clinics in the community and patient navigators helping to guide members, could be successful, particularly if its model of managed care keeps members healthy and out of hospitals, experts say.
With free and unlimited doctor visits, members may be more willing to seek care early, said
"The whole idea of something like this is they're trying to reduce illness or catch stuff early," Sloan said, "so down the line they can save a lot."
Harken's job won't be easy in
It's not just their low-priced plans that made Molina and Ambetter successful in
Those insurers are familiar with low-income populations because they also provide managed care through
The big ones have to develop limited network products to compete.
"I think Harken is an attempt to offer a product that could compete more effectively against the likes of
A previous version of this article misstated the operating hours for Harken Health Centers. Operating hours will be set according to members' needs at each center.
(c)2016 Miami Herald
Visit Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.