Medical Mutual continues to grow with a new acquisition

In early March, Medical Mutual of Ohio announced the purchase of ESI Employee Assistance Group, the third MMO acquisition in three years.

Medical Mutual acquired Bravo, a Cleveland-based employee wellness program provider, in early 2020. In the summer of 2018, it announced the acquisition of Superior Dental Care, a region-based dental insurer. of Dayton.

The addition of ESI – an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider based in Wellsville, NY – is the next step in MMO’s strategy to grow its services in recent years and take a holistic view of members. said Dr Tere Koenig, Executive Vice President. president and chief medical officer of MMO.

She wants to be able to solve employers’ problems and offer human resources solutions.

“So we can bring them medical care; we can bring them dental care; we can bring them life; we can bring them autonomous well-being, integrated well-being,” Koenig said. “And now we can support them for their HR, so that’s one more aspect where we can bring our culture of partnership and delivering services and results to our clients. “

Although MMO has partnered with EAPs in the past to resell or white label a product, it hasn’t had much success, said Tom Dewey, executive vice president of people and strategy for the company. . But since the announcement of the ESI acquisition, interest from customers potentially wishing to look into the offering has been “off the charts,” he said.

MMO will integrate EAP’s EAP options into its range of offerings. In addition, ESI will continue to offer standalone EAP products to businesses across North America. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but ESI CEO Jim Walter noted that the sellers were “very happy” with the deal.

“We have certainly gone through a process and spoken to a number of interested employers,” said Diane Dunbar, President and COO of ESI. The “culture of Medical Mutual is so closely aligned with our culture. … And it was just a perfect fit ”.

Founded in 1983, ESI promotes employee well-being, fosters personal and professional development and strives to improve productivity. The company offers solutions for the well-being of employees, including counseling on relationships and family issues, assistance with the care of the elderly and children, personal coaching on buying a home and l ‘student debt, etc. ESI also offers industry-tailored EAP options, such as EAP for Educators, EAP for Healthcare, EAP for Public Safety, Union Assistance Program, and EAP for Higher Education. .

ESI’s team of nearly 100 employees will remain intact and some aspects will move to Cleveland, Walter said.

“We think we’re going to be able to do a lot of good in Ohio by working with clients at Medical Mutual, but we’re going to continue to grow,” said Walter. “We are getting new business every month from all over North America, so we think the future looks bright. “

ESI currently supports more than 1,800 employer groups, representing approximately 600,000 employees across North America. MMO plans to take advantage of ESI’s continued growth nationwide.

“We expect this will bring us new customers and not just cross-sell, which we think makes sense and we can continue to do, but will also bring new customers to the organization,” Dewey said.

ESI is helping to expand the MMO offering, just as the acquisitions of Bravo and Superior Dental Care have done in recent years.

“Because of our holistic view of the continuum, all of our Ohio employers that have employees outside of Ohio, we have a full network for them and full capabilities,” Koenig said. “This is just another aspect of our attempt to provide this full continuum to all of our members.”

MMO continues to seek opportunities and is not limited by the borders of Ohio.

“I would expect us to keep growing,” she said. “What does that look like? Not exactly sure, but yes, we will definitely continue to grow and grow in Ohio and out of state.”