Monterey County has been known as a "PPO Town" for quite some time now. There are 3 major hospitals in the area, a small network of very qualified doctors, and only 2 insurance carriers worth considering in the town.
So, what happens when United Healthcare attempts to make a push into this small-market? In January of 2016, UnitedHealthcare decided they would like to be a part of Monterey and they decided to offer health insurance at a better rate than Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross.
They have a tough uphill battle. At the same time they are attempting to attract businesses and patients willing to select UHC, they must also attract doctors willing to accept their insurance. So which comes first?
Anthem Blue Cross has the strongest network of doctors and have been able to keep their premiums fairly low. They also have the most patients in the area. So why would these doctors accept UHC when they are not going to receive any new patients?
Here is what UnitedHealthcare did to get started. They reached out to one of the largest businesses in the area and suggested that the two partner and offer a lower cost health insurance to their business's employees and in return, UHC would pressure some doctors to accept these patients. Because this large business has so many patients, any doctor who wants that large set of appointments would be more willing to accept UHC insurance. It worked, and the largest agricultural business in Monterey County accepted the offer from UnitedHealthcare.
The rest, is history.