Merger Seeks to Offer Integrated Platform to Employer-Sponsored Benefits Ecosystem

Sept. 27, 2023
Combination of Virgin Pulse, HealthComp will serve more than 20 million members and address costs for more than 1,000 self-insured employers

Virgin Pulse, a health, wellbeing, and navigation company focused on self-insured employers, plans to merge with HealthComp, a benefits and analytics platform. The combined entity will serve more than 20 million members and address costs for more than 1,000 self-insured employers.

The companies said the merger would create a technology- and data-powered health platform-as-a-service organization. The combined entity will seek to deploy innovative and flexible health plan designs that drive improved member health outcomes, engagement, and awareness across the most important aspects of a person’s healthcare journey.

Some case study examples from the Virgin Pulse website describe the company’s focus. Toyota leverages the Virgin Pulse platform for health risk assessment, health and wellbeing activities, financial wellness, and physical and emotional health, and also uses the platform to bring 25 vendors into one place for employees to access different benefits offerings easily. The Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) was looking to drive behavior change for their 110K employees and spouses through sustained, daily engagement with a wellbeing platform. ADOA partnered with Virgin Pulse to support their employees' and families’ health and wellbeing goals by empowering them to make small, daily changes.

As the healthcare industry evolves, the desire for an integrated experience in the employer-sponsored benefits ecosystem has grown, the companies say, adding that their combination will create a set of assets that will integrate plan design, plan management, payment integrity, health navigation, preventative care, and digital therapeutics through the Homebase for Health user-centric platform. Together, the combined entity expects these assets will create a better experience and lower costs for members and employers, while providing expanded opportunities for insurers and brokers to continue to partner with the combined entity.

“This combination with HealthComp creates a new category in the health space that will change the way employers address the two-fold challenge of reducing costs and improving member outcomes,” said Chris Michalak, Virgin Pulse CEO. He will remain CEO of the combined organization. “Our two companies have a shared mission to improve individual outcomes by engaging users early and often, and making health and wellbeing more accessible, affordable, and personal for all. Together, we are addressing a problem that has plagued the industry for years – a misaligned, complex benefit structure that results in unmet needs and escalating costs. We are eliminating waste, friction, and preventable risks by putting members and their needs at the center of the ecosystem.”

“Self-insured employers pay for almost half of the nation’s healthcare expenditures and now require more innovative and affordable solutions,” said Chad Harris, HealthComp CEO, in a statement. “With concierge-level service, rich analytics, and expert medical cost management, HealthComp ensures that employers can make informed benefits decisions that align with the needs of their employees and businesses. Powered by Virgin Pulse’s daily wellbeing engagement and data-driven personalization, this transaction creates an end-to-end platform that will radically lower costs and improve member outcomes.”

Fresno, Calif.-based HealthComp’s analytics will also benefit Providence, R.I.-based Virgin Pulse’s health plan and health system clients by providing closed-loop data on health outcomes and the true ROI of investing in member experience and wellbeing programs, the companies said.

The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and satisfaction of all closing conditions under the definitive agreement. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. HealthComp is backed by New Mountain Capital and Virgin Pulse is backed by Marlin Equity Partners. New Mountain Capital will be the majority owner of the combined entity.

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