Optum Health, one of the world’s largest private healthcare providers, is to begin offering free, in-person medical services in the U.S. in an attempt to improve access to care and reduce costs.
Optum Health announced the partnership with HealthCare.gov on Monday.
The partnership will provide free in-home services to more than 1.2 million U.K. residents, according to a statement from Optum.
The company said the move will “provide patients with a level of comfort and access to health care that they have never had before.”
“It will be a world-first for the health and wellness of U.k. residents,” Optum said in a statement.
The company said it would offer the service on Monday in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Optum is a division of health insurance giant Centene, which also operates the popular Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in the United States.
Healthcare.gov, which launched in October and allows people to sign up for health coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace, has faced widespread criticism that it does not fully meet patients’ needs.
It’s also unclear how many Americans will receive in-patient care under the new partnership.
The Affordable Care Act requires that all U.N.-affiliated health centers provide in-hospital care to people who are eligible for Medicaid and whose income is below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
The federal government also reimburses hospitals and other providers for in-network medical care that people who need it can receive.
HealthCare.com, which was launched as a competitor to Medicare Advantage in 2009, has not been able to match the costs of the new health plan.
OptuHealth said that as of December, its in-house services cost about $3.4 billion a year, and that Optum had invested $1 billion.
The new partnership will not affect the company’s ability to provide its inpatient services.