US-based Kaiser Permanente has entered into an agreement to acquire Seattle-based insurer Group Health Cooperative, in a bid to expand its operations.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Kaiser intends to spend around $1.8bn to acquire Group Health, which includes both an insurance arm and health-care providers.
Group Health is a health care system that provides products, including both delivery and insurance coverage, to the customers.
The acquisition will add around 590,000 new members to the Kaiser Permanente, which provides health care services to around 10 million members in eight US states and the District of Columbia.
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson said: "This agreement is a natural extension of our long, successful working relationship with Group Health and it provides us with the opportunity to expand access to high-quality, affordable care and coverage.
"Kaiser Permanente and Group Health Cooperative are a natural fit. The opportunity to unite will allow us to best serve the current and future needs of our members, customers and employees."
Group Health Cooperative president and CEO Scott Armstrong said: "Throughout our history we have made decisions driven by a commitment to advance our mission and serve those who trust us with their care."
Subject to approval by Group Health’s voting membership and regulatory entities, the deal completion is expected to take about a year.
Image: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto / Kaiser Permanente.