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SummaCare Health Plan and Summa Health: Caring for Our Community Together

Posted March 02, 2022 by Bill Epling | President

SummaCare Health Plan and Summa Health – oftentimes we are asked, how are the two related? To put it simply, we are two Akron-based, integrated organizations tied together with a singular focus, improving the cost and quality of healthcare and providing well-being for our entire community. 

To share more about this lasting partnership, I must first share more about SummaCare’s history and how we got here.

In the early 1990s, one of the area’s largest employers saw a need for a local alternative to manage their employees’ health coverage and approached Summa Health. A focused group of Summa physicians and forward-thinking administrators helped develop a unique alternative that could be tailored to meet the specific needs of this employer. By becoming its first client, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company helped SummaCare get off the ground – and begin providing health benefit administration services for other large self-funded employers in the Akron area. Soon, employers of all sizes wanted their companies to be able to offer this local, quality, cost-effective alternative so SummaCare became licensed to offer HMO plans and health insurance products to companies of all sizes.  

Shortly after that, plans were developed with the same intention of bringing a local alternative to those eligible for Medicare. For the last 25 plus years, we have grown regionally from a focus on large employer offerings to meet the needs of Medicare beneficiaries, individuals and families and employers of all sizes who are seeking affordable health insurance and benefit administration services. We have expanded our network of providers beyond just Summa to include more than 75 hospitals and more than 22,000 providers across northern Ohio. Coming full circle, SummaCare’s headquarters are now located in our first client’s former space on East Market Street in Akron.

This growth is thanks in part to our partnership with Summa Health. We remain one of the region’s only provider-owned, integrated health plans. This means we have a unique opportunity to collaborate in the care of our members and really bring innovative solutions that integrate the financing and delivery of healthcare in our communities. Valuing the relationship between our members and their doctors, together we can deliver clinical excellence, exceptional customer service and an improved member and patient experience by providing coordinated, value-based care for the people and populations we serve. 

As SummaCare continues to grow, beyond our core markets, we remain committed to our roots here in Akron, our communities that we serve and to our lifelong partnership with Summa Health for the betterment of those we serve, together. 

Bill Epling
President, SummaCare 

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