Updated: Health Alliance expands to Nebraska, Washington

URBANA — Health Alliance Medical Plans will expand into two more states next year, Washington and Nebraska, boosting its presence to four states.

The Urbana-based insurer currently covers about 300,000 people in Illinois and Iowa, the company's Chief Executive Jeff Ingrum said Wednesday.

Health Alliance, which is owned by Carle, has been selected to be one of four insurers to offer insurance choices in Nebraska's federally run state insurance marketplace for new Affordable Care Act coverage for the uninsured beginning next year.

Health Alliance will focus on the Medicare Advantage market in Washington, Ingrum said.

In Nebraska, Ingrum said, Health Alliance will work with a provider partner, Alegent Creighton Health, to provide insurance offerings and administration services, Ingrum said.

In Washington, Health Alliance will operate as a company called Health Alliance Northwest and work in partnership with the physicians of Wenatchee Valley Medical Center.

They'll be focusing efforts on Medicare Advantage plans to begin next year and offering administrative services for employers who self-insure, Ingrum said.

Eventually, he said, "we'll look into other products to sell in that market."

Together with initiatives planned for Illinois — among them providing coverage options for the uninsured in Illinois' new health marketplace next year — Ingrum said Health Alliance could potentially boost its total membership by another 100,000 people next year.

"We see these as opportunities to obviously expand the Health Alliance brand to other states," he said. "I think the attractive part of it for our provider partners is that Health Alliance has been recognized nationally, and has a good reputation for quality and service."

Details of Health Alliance's Illinois marketplace plans likely won't be available to the public until mid-September, Ingrum said.

Health Alliance also plans to have a small presence in Iowa's health marketplace, offering small business and small group plans in Pottawattamie County, Health Alliance spokeswoman Kelli Anderson said.

Some of what else is on the way for Health Alliance, Ingrum says:

— The company is partnering with a group of providers in Iowa called the University of Iowa Health Alliance to develop Medicare Advantage programs for 2015.

— In Illinois, the company is working with the state on two projects for next year: In one, it will provide coverage and coordinate care for about 9,000 people in Central Illinois who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. In the other, it will provide coverage for people with disabilities and seniors who don't qualify for Medicare.

— Also in Illinois, the company hopes to be part of another state program providing coverage for mothers and children in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (1):Health Care

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