Premera to buy Soundpath Health Medicare Advantage contract

Premera Blue Cross has announced plans to acquire Federal Way-based Soundpath Health’s Medicare Advantage contract, which provides health care benefits to more than 22,000 Medicare-eligible customers in Washington.

The acquisition from Catholic Health Initiatives includes only the purchase of Soundpath Health’s contract allowing it to provide Medicare Advantage benefits. The acquisition is expected to be effective Jan. 1, 2019, and is contingent on approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Medicare Advantage plans are sold through contracts with the federal government. Often referred to as “Part C” plans, they often provide additional benefits not offered under original Medicare Parts A and B.  Many Part C plans also include Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits.

“We are looking forward to providing current Soundpath Health customers with access to Premera’s broad Medicare Advantage network of doctors and hospitals under the stability and security of the Blue Cross brand which has served Washington residents for more than 80 years,” said Jim Havens, SVP Senior and Individual Markets for Premera Blue Cross.

Soundpath Health customers will continue to receive their current benefits through the end of the year.  Premera and Soundpath Health will work with CMS to ensure all seniors who receive benefits through Soundpath Health are properly notified.

Premera’s 2018 Medicare Advantage health plans earned four out of five stars from CMS. CMS created the star-rating system to allow Medicare consumers to assess the overall quality of Medicare Advantage plans in various health, wellness and consumer satisfaction categories.  The ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.

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