And the winners are…..CareMore and Humana. Thousands of Medicare beneficiaries in Pima County changed their Medicare Advantage plans in January and they still have February and March to make a switch. CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) reports each month on enrollment numbers, so we can see which plans are growing and which are losing members.
CareMore, a new Medicare Advantage plan in Tucson, enrolled 1,969 people as of the end of January according to CMS numbers. CareMore is still advertising seminars and mailing brochures to seniors (for the third or fourth time), so they will likely gain more members before the end of March when the Open Enrollment Period ends.
Humana has been in Tucson for several years and has spent that time building its network of contracted healthcare providers for its HMO Medicare Advantage plan. As of December 1, 2009 they had 1,102 people enrolled in their HMO. By February 1, they had nearly doubled their numbers to 2,079. This is an icrease of 89%.
Humana’s PPO Medicare Advantage plan was also a big winner, growing from 195 enrollees to 465.
The big loser in enrollment numbers is Health Net’s Medicare Advantage HMO which had 19,670 members on December 1 and 17,182 on February 1st. This amounts to a loss of 13% in its business. Health Net is the first HMO Medicare Advantage plan in Tucson to have a premium ($36/month) and about 2,500 people chose to change plans rather than pay. Losing only 13% of their members doesn’t seem like a bad result, given the competition in the Tucson Medicare Advantage market.
Another loser is the Evercare chronic illness plan (Evercare MP). The plan lost 39% of its members, dropping from 4,029 to 2,476. This plan had very low co-payments three years ago, but is now fairly similar to other Advantage plans. They also lost their contract with a large doctor group which forced enrollees to change their primary care doctor or change plans.
The big Kahuna in town is still Secure Horizons, with nearly 25,000 enrollees in their AARP Medicare Complete Plan 1. This plan has been around for a long time (though co-pays have changed over the years) and it does not have an annual cap on out-of-pocket expenses. Over 2,000 seniors moved out of this plan and they may have enrolled in the AARP Medicare Complete Plan 3, which does have a cap. Plan 3 gained 3,704 new enrollees as of February 1 for an 85% increase.
Medicare beneficiaries can make one change in their coverage between January 1 and March 31, so it will be interesting to see the final numbers for April 1. The CMS web page with Medicare Advantage enrollments numbers can be found through this link: