If you are already a large employer, dealing with a large cost, sometimes you think 'darn it, why don't I just do this myself?' So the news that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase have decided to launch a healthcare company is perhaps unusual, but in a longer time-frame, it does happen every now and then, and is perfectly understandable. Captive insurers, or captive providers, are a good solution for some groups, and particularly some employers. It can cut layers of cost from the provision of a benefit. I know of one large New Zealand corporate that used to self-insure its vehicle fleet, even employing its own assessor, but still using existing suppliers of panel-beating for example.
The real question is whether the three can create something more than that. Given the innovation record of Amazon, that is the part of the news that could be really exciting. When you think about it, JP Morgan Chase, is also in the business of managing some efficient markets and exchanges. Perhaps they both have an eye on reducing the eye-watering cost of the US healthcare market, not just for their employees, but maybe their customers as well.