Cone Health joins the ranks of health systems entering the insurance business as it begins to market its new Medicare Advantage plan.
The Greensboro, N.C.-based system, a two-hospital group whose flagship facility is 1,004-bed Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, submitted its application to the CMS in February. The Medicare Advantage product represents its first venture into the insurance market.
Cone Health began marketing and advertising the plan last week and will start enrolling patients on Oct. 15. Coverage will begin Jan. 1.
The system is entering the insurance market through its partnership with North Texas Specialty Physicians, which already has an insurance business known as Care N' Care Insurance Co. The Medicare Advantage plan, HealthTeam Advantage, will operate as a joint venture between Cone Health and Care N' Care.
Terry Akin, Cone Health's president and CEO, described the entry as a small step into the insurance industry. He declined to comment on expected enrollment numbers but said, “I don't think we're talking tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands.”
The move builds on the system's other forays into risk-based payments. Its accountable care organization, Triad Healthcare Network, is participating in the Medicare Shared Savings program. Triad saved $21.5 million in its first year and earned 50% of that in shared savings, said Steve Neorr, president of HealthTeam Advantage. —Beth Kutscher