Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase are pulling the plug on a combined effort that was aimed at cutting soaring employee health care costs.
The joint venture, dubbed Haven and formed in, will end operations by the end of February, a company spokeswoman said Monday. She gave no reason for the end of the venture.
The independent company was created to focus on improving the care delivered to employees of those businesses while doing a better job of managing the expense. Haven’s initial goal was to develop technology tools for rolling out affordable health care options for Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan employees. But JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon also said the project could eventually expand to other workers.
“[W]e share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes,” famed investor Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said in a statement at the time.
The companies also picked a high-profile CEO, Harvard professor and surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande, to lead the venture. News that three of the country’s largest companies were joining forces to tackle health costs sent shock waves around the industry, pushing down the stock prices of insurance companies and pharmacy benefits managers.
In 2019, the company picked a name for itself, but it had been largely silent since then. Gawande departed last May. Haven’s remaining employees will be absorbed by the three companies involved in its creation.
A Haven spokeswoman said the company started a new design for health care benefits that eliminated patient out-of-pocket payments like deductibles and co insurance and encouraged access to primary care. She said the company also identified areas for cutting drug costs.
“In the past three years, Haven explored a wide range of health care solutions, as well as piloted new ways to make primary care easier to access, insurance benefits simpler to understand and easier to use, and prescription drugs more affordable,” the venture said in a statement posted on its website. “Moving forward, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will leverage these insights and continue to collaborate informally to design programs tailored to address the specific needs of their own employee populations.”
Health care costs have vastly outpaced wages and inflation, stressing families and employers for years. Benefits experts had expected any solutions developed by Haven to become widely adopted beyond the three companies that created the venture.