Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine and MaineHealth today announced the two organizations will be collaborating on a joint venture to offer Medicare Advantage health insurance plans for 2020 under the Anthem | MaineHealth brand. This joint venture effort, named AMH Health, LLC, will bring together the core strengths of the region’s leading health care system and health insurer, their brand recognition, as well as their expertise in providing a comprehensive approach to care that will support Maine seniors in their healthy aging.
Growth of Medicare Advantage Plans
More than 11,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day and enter the Medicare market. CMS has projected that Medicare Advantage enrollment will reach an “all-time high” in 2019 with 22.6 million Medicare beneficiaries, given the unprecedented growth. Medicare Advantage plans are one of the frontline players in the push for value-based care and need to gear up to achieve an excellent care ecosystem for their members with the best clinical and financial outcomes.
After remaining flat for four years, the total number of Medicare Advantage plans increased 34 percent in the last two years to 2,734. The increased number of plans has expanded options for enrollees and created competition amongst insurers. The average recipient is able to choose between 24 plans in 2019, compared to 19 two years earlier.
Joint Venture AMH Health Details
As part of the joint venture, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and MaineHealth will make Medicare Advantage insurance plans available to seniors during this fall’s annual enrollment period. Medicare Advantage plans have been growing rapidly in popularity since they were first offered to consumers in 2005. They offer the same medical coverage as Original Medicare, also known as Part A and Part B, while adding a cap on out-of-pocket expenses and often including access to additional health care services.
Why It Matters for Maine Residents
“Forging partnerships that aim to improve the health of Mainers is central to MaineHealth’s vision of ‘working together so our communities are the healthiest in America,’ and this collaboration has that potential,” said Bill Caron, CEO of MaineHealth. “This venture creates a provider-sponsored health plan focused on quality care, patient experience, and access to care that will drive unprecedented value for Maine beneficiaries. It will be structured to promote longer-term, more beneficial patient/provider relationships. The potential for healthier patients and thus healthier communities is great.”