Health Plan Alliance Announces Return of Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefit Consortium
Health Plan Alliance
IRVING, Texas, September 8, 2020 — The Health Plan Alliance (Alliance), in collaboration with Faegre Drinker Consulting and the Wakely Consulting Group, is re-implementing its Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits Consortium. As before, the Consortium will evaluate potential supplemental benefits for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and provide resources to assist plans with implementing them. This year’s consortium model includes additional member-to-member collaboration and direct interaction with vendors that offer the selected benefits.
The Health Plan Alliance supports 45 regional health plans in non-competing markets that work with one another and their provider networks to improve managed care in their communities. “The Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits Consortium offers the kind of collaborative, innovative learning that is the hallmark of the Alliance,” said Kristin Rodriguez, Health Plan Alliance chief operating officer. “We’re pleased that so many of our members are again participating in the Consortium and look forward to seeing these plans innovate their products in today’s very competitive MA market.”
The MA program is rapidly growing — enrollment now tops 24 million and it is projected to reach 30 million enrollees by 2025. In an effort to offer greater value for MA plan members, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services permits Medicare Advantage plans to offer a wide range non-medical benefits (such as transportation and companionship) and to offer additional tailored benefits for people with chronic diseases.
“By pooling resources and learning from each other, the consortium model allows plans to purchase and receive far more services together than they could purchase individually,” said Mike Adelberg, principal at Faegre Drinker Consulting and a former senior MA regulator for the federal government. “There’s a lot involved with offering a new, non-traditional benefit successfully. Entering our third year of helping plans consider benefits, we know we’re positioned to offer a high value service.”
Tim Murray, an experienced Medicare actuary and director at Wakely Consulting Group, agrees. “We are just a few years into a new era of Medicare Advantage benefit innovations. Data is scarce, options are seemingly infinite, and the annual benefit design process is truly overwhelming. We endeavor to support the Alliance’s Consortium participants in establishing a rigorous but practical framework for identifying benefits that have potential to improve quality, attract new members, and perhaps even lower avoidable health care costs.”
The consortium is comprised of 22 provider-sponsored health plans from the Alliance membership. It includes several of the highest quality plans in the Medicare Advantage program. Consortium activities kick off this month and will run into early 2021.
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