The state’s two largest hospital systems and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware plan to offer a Medicare Advantage plan for 2022, subject to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approval.
Under the program, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware will collaborate with Wilmington-based ChristianaCare and Dover-based Bayhealth to offer Medicare Advantage to eligible Delawareans.
Highmark is the state’s largest health insurer.
The Medicare Advantage market is highly competitive, with seniors receiving mailers from many insurers during the fall enrollment period.
This announcement follows a 10-year collaboration agreement signed by ChristianaCare and Highmark Health that focused on affiliates of Highmark Health and ChristianaCare together innovating solutions to address current health care challenges.
Pending regulatory approval, the new Medicare Advantage plan in Delaware will be available for enrollment this fall for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
“ChristianaCare and Bayhealth are prominent health care providers in the areas of care coordination and outcomes, and they have strong ties to their communities. This collaboration will help increase access to care, enhance the provider-patient experience, and make way for new solutions to improve health for all seniors,” said Alexis Miller, market president, federal markets, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware.
Traditional Medicare comprises four separate programs: Medicare Part A covers hospital stays, follow-up nursing care after a hospital stay, hospice care, and some in-home health care. Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient hospital services, ambulance services, mental health services, certain therapies, diagnostic services, and preventive services. Part C is more commonly referred to as Medicare Advantage, and Part D covers prescriptions.
Medicare Advantage consolidates coverage into one package. Medicare Advantage plans provide the same benefits as traditional Medicare, such as hospitalizations, surgeries, and drugs, and offer benefits like chiropractor visits, dental services, and coverage for vision and hearing.
“Participation in a Medicare Advantage plan offers patients excellent care with affordable and predictable out-of-pocket costs and enhances care coordination, preventive care, and care for chronic conditions. ChristianaCare, Bayhealth, and Highmark are working together to truly impact the health of Delaware seniors,” said Christine Donohue-Henry, M.D., ChristianaCare’s chief population health officer.
“We are working together with local health care partners to ensure access to efficient, affordable, and high-quality care for Delawareans, especially vulnerable populations like seniors. Serving individuals and the community is fundamental to our mission at Bayhealth,” added Gary Siegelman, M.D., Bayhealth’s senior vice president and chief medical officer. “We believe this collaboration is important because it will support better coordination of care and increase our ability to help seniors manage their chronic conditions, so they can enjoy the important people and activities in their lives.”
ChristianaCare, which operates in northern Delaware, is the state’s largest health care system, with Christiana Hospital ranking as the 31st largest hospital in the nation. Bayhealth has hospitals in Kent and northern Sussex counties.