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Humana's (HUM) 2022 Expansion Plan to Boost MA Customer Base

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Humana Inc. HUM recently announced that it is launching an affordable, whole person health care Medicare Advantage PPO plan to serve the rural communities in 37 Eastern North Carolina counties.

The healthcare provider boasts a strong MA network across the United States. Through this vast network, it is consistently delivering cost-effective plans and catering to the diversified health needs of the communities that it serves.

During the 2022 Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Annual Election Period (AEP), which will start Oct 15 and run through Dec 7 this year, the new Medicare plan will be available for purchase.

The leading health insurer took this initiative in a bid to enhance medical facilities in the North Carolina rural areas. This new plan, which requires a $0 premium, no or low copays for appointments, dental, vision and hearing coverage, etc., emphasizes on whole person healthcare.

It also includes virtual care, which is a bonus given the COVID-19 situation wherein people are more comfortable in seeking healthcare from the comforts of their homes.

For Humana’s 2022 MA plan members, who are diagnosed with coronavirus, there is an offering of $0 copay for tests, medical treatment, vaccinations and even a 14-day home delivery of meals.

For next year, this leading health insurer has its Humana Honor plan available in every county in North Carolina. The option for veterans allows them to choose from any Medicare Advantage plan available in their region apart from other facilities.

The Humana MA plans are recommended by USAA, a company known for ensuring the financial security of the existing as well as the former members of the U.S. military and their families.

Humana to Gain From Medicare Business

Humana’s Medicare business has been performing strongly from the past many quarters. The latest move only solidifies its position in MA business. The company also took several measures, such as forming alliances to bolster its Medicare business line in the United States. It announced its iCare buyout in Wisconsin in December 2020, which expanded its Medicare business.

In the first six months of 2021, membership was up 10% year over year. For 2021, the company expects individual Medicare Advantage membership growth of around 425,000-475,000 members, suggesting a rise of 11-12% from the year-ago reported figure. This, in turn, is expected to contribute to solid revenue growth.

The MA market seems attractive for the company, considering the surge in enrollment figures and a growing U.S. aging population. It is worth mentioning that MA plans remain the preferred choice for consumers owing to several bundled benefits, improved care coordination and affordability, which make for better options than the traditional Medicare plans.

Other healthcare providers like Centene Corporation CNC, Cigna Corporation CI and UnitedHealth Group Incorporated UNH also declared their 2022 MA and prescription drug plans recently.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Shares of Humana, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), have lost 4.2% in a year against the industry’s growth of 19.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. However, its acquisitions and dispositions, efficient capital deployment and a strong Medicare business position will help the stock bounce back going forward.

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