HCSC Bets Big on MA With Major Expansion in 2022

Health Care Service Corp. (HCSC), the parent company of Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates in five states, is poised to majorly expand its relatively modest Medicare Advantage footprint.

The insurer said in an Aug. 10 press release that subject to regulatory approval, its MA offerings will grow to serve more than 90 new counties in 2022, “increasing access to new coverage options for more than 1.1 million additional Medicare-eligible individuals,” including those in rural and underserved areas.

Currently, HCSC’s 108,281 Medicare Advantage lives make up a small sliver of its overall enrollment of about 16.5 million across its five affiliate Blues plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, according to AIS’s Directory of Health Plans. The MA expansion comes two years after HCSC’s CEO and chief financial officer departed, causing some industry analysts to speculate about whether there would be “a strategic shift in the future of the company.”

To learn more about HCSC’s Medicare market expansion, AIS Health, a division of MMIT, spoke to Nathan Linsley, the insurer’s senior vice president of government programs.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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