Minneapolis-based health insurance company Bright Health has partnered with University Hospitals to offer Medicare Advantage plans to residents of the Cleveland and Akron areas in 2020, according to a news release.
Coverage will be available in Cuyahoga, Lake, Portage, Medina, Geauga and Summit counties. Bright Health received regulatory approval from the Ohio Department of Insurance and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to offer health plans during this fall's Medicare Annual Election period, beginning Oct. 15.
Bright Health's model features proprietary "Care Partner Networks," developed for Ohio residents based on several criteria, such as comprehensive care across specialties, geographic reach, quality of care and operational efficiency, according to the release. Bright Health collaborates with doctors in this network to engage proactively with members (including those with high-risk or chronic conditions) to improve health outcomes and reduce costs through coordinated in-network care, according to the release. According to Bright Health, this results in lower out-of-pocket costs, fewer readmissions and emergency room visits, a reduction in duplicate testing and referral-free specialists visits.
"At Bright Health, we believe the foundation of good health care is a strong relationship between people and their doctors," said Bob Sheehy, Bright Health's co-founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. "By working hand-in-hand with physicians in our Care Partner Networks, we have removed the friction that typically exists between insurance companies and health care providers, so our members can focus on what really matters: their health."
Bright Health will continue offering its Medicare Advantage Plans in other Ohio cities (Cincinnati, Toledo, Springfield and Youngstown) through its partnership with Mercy Health and will expand that partnership into six counties in the Lima area (Ottawa, Defiance, Allen, Auglaize, Mercer and Putnam), according to the release.
Bright Health offers $0 premium plans on Medicare Advantage plans in all Ohio markets and its plans also include $0 PCP copay, low or $0 Part D deductible, an over-the-counter debit card, transportation benefits and comprehensive dental, vision and hearing benefits, according to the release.
Through the partnership with University Hospitals, members in the Cleveland and Akron areas can access more than 17 hospitals, 380 primary care physicians and 2,000 specialists. Bright Health members in Cincinnati, Toledo, Springfield, Youngstown and now Lima will continue to have access to its Care Partner Network with Mercy Health.
"University Hospitals is committed to creating new models that improve health care value," said Mark Schario, vice president of population health at UH, in a prepared statement. "Working with Bright Health provides us with the opportunity to use our experience as a leader with one of the largest Accountable Care Organizations in the nation to develop ways of keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital as they age, while lowering costs. Our goal is to change the health care narrative by emphasizing efforts that help people 'stay healthy at home' versus only 'healing patients in a hospital.' "
"UH partners with Bright Health to offer Medicare Advantage plans" was originally published in Crain's Cleveland Business.