HCSC plans another record year of Medicare Advantage expansion

Health Care Service Corporation is planning its largest ever Medicare expansion.

The insurer said this week that will offer Medicare coverage in more than 150 new counties in five states: Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The expanded footprint will boost coverage options for as many as 1.1 million Medicare-eligibles, according to the announcement.

HCSC said it is focusing its expansion in rural and underserved areas and means that it will offer its Medicare Advantage plans to 7.5 million people across more than 330 counties. The additional reach is an increase of more than 40% from 2022's record growth, HCSC said.

“We’re excited to follow up last year’s historic expansion with an even bigger launch for 2023, building on our long-standing commitment to increase access to quality, cost-effective and equitable health care in the communities we serve,” said Christine Kourouklis, HCSC’s Medicare president, in a statement.

“We’re not just expanding our geographic reach—we’re also expanding our products and services to best serve the specific needs and lifestyles of the growing Medicare population," Kourouklis said.

HCSC's 2023 Medicare Advantage plans focus on diverse benefits to meet a variety of needs, including dental, vision and prescription drug coverage. It also includes a number of price points, including $0 premiums, according to the announcement.

The plans offer options to that aim to boost access to enhanced or alternative benefits, lower out-of-pocket costs and/or address the affordability of prescription drugs.

“As we continue to grow our Medicare offerings, we’ve carefully chosen the expansion areas and product offerings to provide access to equitable, affordable and quality care to our members and potential new members,” said Nathan Linsley, HCSC senior vice president of government and individual markets, in a statement. 

The expansion plan is pending final regulatory approval. Open enrollment for Medicare begins on Oct. 15 and will run through Dec. 7.