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Humana Penetrates Further in New Jersey Via PPO, HMO Plan

Zacks Equity Research

Humana Inc. HUM is enhancing health plan choices for its Medicare beneficiaries in New Jersey by adding numerous counties to its network. Moreover, it is launching a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan in New Jersey to aid members.

New Jerseyans can now easily access Medicare Advantage plans in Cumberland, Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem, Somerset, Sussex and Warren Counties, which raises the number to 13 counties effective Jan 1, 2020. They can choose a Humana Choice Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Medicare Advantage plan during 2019 Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Election Period or AEP, which runs from Oct 15 to Dec 7, 2019. These strategic moves are in line with Humana’s commitment toward providing an enriched healthcare to the public.

Notably, the company will continue with its Medicare Advantage plans across six other counties, namely Bergen, Hudson and Morris counties in Northern New Jersey; and Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties in Southern New Jersey, which started last year. Residents of all these penetrated areas will benefit as Humana is also offering a Medicare Advantage HMO plan, which will add to its existing PPO proposals.

These new plans will help New Jerseyans with Medicare to opt for affordable alternatives to the original Medicare or go for the old Medicare coupled with a Medicare Supplement plan. With a slew of plan options at their disposal, members can now enjoy the advantages that come along with the previous Medicare scheme along with hearing, vision, dental and prescription medicine coverage on almost all plans plus benefits and financial leverage for their health care expenses. The rewarding outcomes include $0 or low monthly premiums, low co-payments for doctor visits, emergency coverage across the globe, etc.

This government business line remains attractive for Humana because of the growth opportunity it holds for the industry players. Its peer Centene Corporation CNC is expected to purchase WellCare Health Plans, Inc. WCG in the first half of 2020, which will add around 5 million Medicare members to its network. In total, the company will have almost 22 million members across 50 US states, making it one of the biggest providers of government insurance. Cigna Corp. CI is also expanding its Medicare Advantage plans across 17 states and 80 counties in the Medicare Annual Election Period.

Per Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare spending is expected to grow on average of 7.6% per year from 2020 to 2027.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have lost 23.5% in a year's time, wider than its industry's decline of 20.6%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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