Zing Health, a Black-founded Medicare Advantage insurer, is expanding into 32 additional states and the District of Columbia with its acquisition of Lasso Healthcare.
The deal will allow Chicago-based Zing, a Black doctor-led insurer of healthcare plans, to buy Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based Lasso, a provider of Medicare-related services for thousands of Americans.
Both companies aligned on a deal because of their like-minded approach, Dr. Eric Whitaker, the CEO and a founder of Zing Health, told Home Health Care News. He told Black Enterprise by email what makes this acquisition unique. “Other Medicare Advantage acquisitions have been by companies that have had multi-lines like commercial insurance or employer insurance — ours is strictly Medicare Advantage.”
Zing was started in 2019 by two Black physicians/entrepreneurs, Whitaker and Dr. Kenneth Alleyne, and co-founder Black healthcare executive, Garfield Collins. The firm provides Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to under-resourced seniors largely in the Midwest who are often minorities living in low-income and/or rural areas who may otherwise not have access to adequate healthcare. Lasso has a national reach and business model offering affordable coverage to seniors across the country.
Reflecting on the deal, Zing Health reports the Lasso addition provides “a national footprint to reach diverse communities with innovative Medicare Advantage health plans that lower the cost of high-quality care.” Zing joins other new and existing health insurance firms using acquisitions and mergers to boost Medicare-related business that have been growing steadily, observers say.
The pact means Zing will expand into rural markets that could help it target Medicare-eligible seniors who are perhaps facing difficulty gaining access to traditional insurance networks.
“The rural community piece is a big one,” Whitaker told Black Enterprise by email. “Heretofore, we’ve been focusing on urban diverse communities and having rural as part of that as an addition that’s impactful.”
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SOURCE: Black Enterprise, Jeffrey McKinney