OSF HealthPlans, a managed care company with 78,000 members and a subsidiary of OSF Saint Francis Inc., has been sold for $90.5 million. The buyer is Louisville, Ky.-based Humana Inc., one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies with approximately 11.5 million medical members.

OSF HealthPlans, a managed care company with 78,000 members and a subsidiary of OSF Saint Francis Inc., has been sold for $90.5 million.


The buyer is Louisville, Ky.-based Humana Inc., one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies with approximately 11.5 million medical members.


"Humana and OSF HealthPlans have very similar philosophies and this is a great opportunity for both organizations," said Kevin Schoeplein, president of OSF HealthPlans.


Humana’s size and expertise in the industry should mean good things for present OSF HealthPlan members, said Jim Farrell, OSF’s senior vice president of marketing and communications.


"From a member standpoint, (the transition) should be relatively seamless. The same OSF facilities and service will be available.


"They have more innovative products to offer due to their size," said Farrell, referring to a variety of Humana programs that will become available to OSF HealthPlan members.


The sale follows business success by the OSF program, he said. "We’ve had a very strong bottom line for the past three or four years. That’s what made us attractive to Humana and other national carriers."


One of the factors in the sale was competitive pricing, he said.


"We can’t compete with the rates of health insurance carriers with millions of members," said Farrell.


"The sale allows us to focus on our core mission -- providing care and service in a very safe manner."


The transaction won’t be finalized until regulatory approval is received from the Illinois Division of Insurance and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


Humana’s Michael Kasper, president of the company’s Illinois market, said when the deal goes through, OSF members can look for "business as usual."


"Members will continue to use all the same medical facilities they did under the OSF plan," he said. "Not only will (OSF) members gain access to a broader array of health and specialty products, the transaction significantly expands Humana’s provider network in central and northern Illinois.


"Members will have the benefits that a $25 billion company has to offer in the way of technology and other value-added services."


As to what the costs will be for that technology, Kasper said members will have more plans to choose from.


"The current set of products will be expanded greatly. Instead of one or two plans, we look to bring six to eight options to the table for a member to choose from that best fits their needs and budget," he said.


One of the products that Humana provides is a program offering quarterly medical reports to members, said Kasper.


"SmartResults delivers information about all the medical claims and drugs used (by members) over the period. It provides a portable medical record as well as possible ways to save money," he said.


Kasper expects the transition to be completed by late spring or early summer.


Steve Tarter can be reached at (309) 686-3260 or starter@pjstar.com.