Several folks, including a recent commenter, have posed a similar question — if the handshake agreement between Partners and Blue Cross has raised healthcare costs so much, why hasn’t someone come up with a non-Partners insurance product?
I can’t say that I have an absolute answer. But, I would point you in the direction of the closest analogue I can think of — Unicare’s Commonwealth Choice PPO plan, which is available to state employees. It limits you to a variety of community hospitals, BIDMC, and Children’s Hospital (the only contact with the Partners network, as far as I can tell.
Jump on our GIC health insurance comparison website — www.gicestimator.com — and pretend to be an employee of one of the featured towns. Then select Unicare – Commonwealth Choice from the PPO options. I’m guessing it will be lower priced.
I don’t know how popular it is, and I’m guessing not very — the power of the brand names is quite strong.