Select Health, Kroger team on co-branded Medicare Advantage plans

Select Health is teaming up with grocer Kroger to launch new co-branded Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that aim to improve access to healthy food and affordable medications.

The plans will be available beginning Jan. 1 and will offer savings to enrollees on groceries and prescriptions as well as connect members to programs and services that can improve their health and wellness, Select Health said in an announcement.

Jason Worthen, vice president of government markets at Select Health, told Fierce Healthcare that when Kroger approached the insurer at the beginning of this year about a potential partnership, his team saw the opportunity to jointly tackle some of its MA members top concerns.

"We’re trying to address some of those root items that customers are telling us they really want us to address," he said.

Medicare's annual enrollment period begins Oct. 15, and insurers are barred from releasing full details of their plan lineup until the beginning of that month. But Worthen said members want and expect more new options in the market to meet their unique needs.

The new plans will first be offered in select counties across four states Select Health, a subsidiary of Intermountain Healthcare, serves: Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Nevada. Worthen said that developing them required taking full stock of the assets available across all three organizations.

Now that the partners are out of the strategy stage, he said, they can work on the more nitty-gritty of the new plans. They see significant opportunity to work together to tackle a range of issues from medication adherence to social determinants of health.

"There's a lot of alignment on mission between our organizations," he said. "We're excited about the future."