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History

In the spring of 1993, more than 100 community leaders representing employers, health care providers, and organized labor from Beaver, Butler, and Lawrence counties in Western Pennsylvania met to explore solutions to the rapidly rising health insurance premiums throughout the region. Their discussion produced an active steering committee charged with the mission of seeking out insurance and health plan alternatives designed to control costs without sacrificing health care and service quality.

In response to this challenge, the committee chose to leverage the purchasing strength of an alliance of multiple employers, both small and large, which would negotiate with local and national health plans. Consideration was given to all local carriers based on their financial terms, renewal commitment, network access, quality assurance, customer service, flexible plan designs, and dedication to the growth and long-term success of this initiative.

HealthAmerica, with its Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), HealthAssurance, was selected as the group's partner of choice. In addition to meeting as well as exceeding the groups requirements, HealthAmerica committed to controlling cost increases over a three-year period for all employer groups electing to work through this new alliance of employers.

The Tri-County Health Care Alliance was ultimately formed in November of 1993 and incorporated as a non-profit organization. In January 1994, HealthAmerica enrolled 29 companies as its first insurance members through the Alliance. As the membership grew and the interest to participate in the Alliance spread throughout the region, expansion commenced in 1995 to add Mercer County in Pennsylvania, as well as Mahoning, Columbiana, and Trumbull counties in Eastern Ohio. This expansion also necessitated a name change to the "Penn-Ohio Regional Health Care Alliance."

In January 2010, HealthAmerica was again chosen as the partner of choice for a three-year term. As part of this agreement, the Alliance will be expanding into Armstrong County.

The relationship with HealthAmerica continues today, as does the success of Penn-Ohio. Currently, more than 16,931 employees and family members are enrolled in the Penn-Ohio Alliance. Additionally, an initial savings on premiums has accrued to more than $6 million for all employer members that have joined the Penn-Ohio Alliance.