Mission Health announces in-network health plans for 2018

Press release from Mission Health:

Mission Health, the provider caring for the largest number of residents of western North Carolina, has announced it is contracting with a robust suite of health plans in 2018, including five Medicare Advantage plans. The expansion of its insurer relationships is part of the health system’s ongoing efforts to ensure optimal, in-network access and the highest quality of care for everyone in western North Carolina. The announcement comes at the start of Medicare Advantage open enrollment for 2018, the once per year time when individuals eligible for Medicare are able to sign up for Medicare Advantage or change their Medicare Advantage insurance provider.

Medicare Advantage open enrollment begins this Sunday, October 15, and ends December 7, 2017. Mission Health’s seven hospitals and 189 physician practices are in-network with the following Medicare Advantage plans in 2018:

· AARP, MedicareComplete, insured through UnitedHealthcare
· FirstMedicare Direct Healthy State HMO Plus
· Gateway Health Plan
· Humana
· WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

Mission Health does not have a contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and any Blue Cross Medicare Advantage patient will be out of network at all Mission Health physicians and facilities given that status. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina HMO plans have no out of network benefit and therefore any consumer in western North Carolina on that plan will have no benefits whatsoever at any Mission Health facility.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Medicare Advantage 2017 Spotlight, more than 587,000 North Carolina residents enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans last Fall for 2017, a number expected to grow in 2018. The same report notes that nationally, Medicare Advantage enrollment has increased 71 percent over the last seven years.

“We’re acutely aware of the specific needs of the patient population we serve and are committed to working with like-minded health plans that offer benefits tailored to those individuals,” said Mission Health’s Chief Operating Officer and Mission Hospital President, Jill Hoggard Green, PhD, RN. “As the number of Medicare Advantage-eligible patients continues to climb, it’s our responsibility to expand our services accordingly.”

Mission Health’s dedication to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina includes offerings specifically for the many regional residents age 65 and over. Its commitment to working with reasonable insurers is part of the health system’s efforts to provide access to a broad range of senior-specific services.

For more information on Medicare Advantage, eligibility, and participating in Medicare Advantage open enrollment, please click here to learn more.

About Mission Health

Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system. For the fifth time in the past six years, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics, an IBM Company and part of IBM Watson Health in 2017. We are the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition. Mission Health operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. With approximately 12,000 team members and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit mission-health.org or @MissionHealthNC.

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About Susan Foster
Susan Foster is a clinical psychologist who moved to Asheville from the Boston area in 2013. She started with Xpress as a freelance health and wellness writer and is now the wellness editor. You can email her at sfoster@mountainx.com and follow her on Twitter @susanjfosterphd. Follow me @susanjfosterphd

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