Medicare

Nearing $1B In Sales, Alignment Healthcare Unveils Medicare Advantage Expansion

Nearing $1B In Sales, Alignment Healthcare Unveils Medicare Advantage Expansion

On The Money Medicare Advantage
This Nov. 8, 2018 file photo shows a page from the 2019 U.S. Medicare Handbook in Washington. The federal government is giving insurers who offer Medicare Advantage plans more leeway to pay for things they’d ordinarily never cover. (AP Photo/PabloASSOCIATED PRESS

Alignment Healthcare is expanding deeper into the potentially lucrative California market to sell its Medicare Advantage plans to seniors.

Alignment, which already sells Medicare Advantage coverage in California, North Carolina and Florida, said Tuesday it is “doubling its California footprint with expansion into eight greater Sacramento and Bay Area counties, where more than 862,000 Medicare recipients live.”

The privately held health insurance company, known for its connections to high-ranking former U.S. health policymakers, reported $703.5 million in revenue for the 12-month period that ended June 30. And executives say eclipsing $1 billion in sales is the target for the coming year.

Medicare Advantage plans provide extra benefits and services to seniors, such as disease management and nurse help hotlines, as well as some plans providing vision and dental care. 

But the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has changed the rules for Medicare Advantage plans to allow them to cover more supplemental health benefits in part to better coordinate care and make sure seniors get lower cost benefits upfront before getting sick, which could cost taxpayers more in the long run.Today In: Innovation

“For 2020, we are expanding our plan offerings beyond the core benefits around prescription drugs and round-the-clock concierge service that our members have come to expect from Alignment,”Alignment Healthcare chief executive John Kao said. “In 2020, we have added benefits designed to address social factors such as food instability and loneliness that directly impact health outcomes. Doing so is an integral part of our mission to solve for critical gaps in health care and coordinate the best care possible for our members.” 

Alignment touts its ties to former CMS administrators Dr. Mark McClellan, who served in the George W. Bush administration, and Andy Slavitt who worked in the Barack Obama administration. Having ties to Republicans and Democrats mirrors the bipartisan support that Medicare Advantage has had and continues to today even as some Democrats running for President in 2020 tout versions of an expanded Medicare program that would end the private insurer’s role in administering health benefits.

But for now, Medicare Advantage growth is taking off and health insurers including Anthem, CVS Health’s Aetna health insurance unit, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group are expanding sales of Medicare Advantage plans into new states, counties and regions.

Meanwhile, smaller companies like Alignment, several startups and new entrants including Bright Health and medical care provider plans are also expanding while some companies like Oscar Health, best known for sales of individual Obamacare coverage, are going to be selling Medicare Advantage for the first time in 2020.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2019/10/01/nearing-1b-in-sales-alignment-healthcare-unveils-medicare-advantage-expansion/#36280a34cc8a

Posted in Medicare