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Neighborhood Health seeks to change image as ‘cheap’ insurer

Neighborhood Health Plan is seeking to shed its reputation of being just a low-cost health plan.

The insurer launched an ad campaign Wednesday imploring consumers and businesses to buy Neighborhood’s insurance not because it’s cheap, but because it’s good.

Boston-based Neighborhood has a key advantage compared to other low-cost plans. As a subsidiary of Partners HealthCare, the insurer’s network covers all of Partners’ 10 hospitals, including Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s.

The television ads are part of Neighborhood’s efforts to attract more commercial business from employers. The health plan largely serves people with low-incomes, and more than two-thirds of its members are on Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor. In 2014, the insurer struggled with $100 million in losses; its performance has since improved.


“Airlines, cars, [and] retail have all evolved to where affordable no longer means cheap -- not something to fear but something that is important in the purchasing equation,” said Jim Garaventi, creative director of Mechanica, a Newburyport advertising firm that launched the campaign. “But when it comes to health plans -- where comparisons are hard to make -- ‘affordable’ is still often perceived as low quality. This marketing campaign was designed to take the fear out of affordable by highlighting all that NHP delivers.”

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at priyanka.mccluskey@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.