Humana Adds Retail Pharmacies to Medicare Part D Network

Humana Inc. HUM recently declared that it has added Kroger Health and its pharmacies Costco, Publix and HEB to its preferred stand-alone Medicare Part D pharmacy network for 2021. This new deal will be effective Jan 1, 2021.

Humana’s Medicare prescription drug plan members have been enjoying lower out-of-pocket expenses on prescription drugs at Walmart, Walmart Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club pharmacies. It is part of a preferred cost-sharing agreement with this leading health insurance company.

With this new deal, Medicare members will now have access to around 9500 pharmacies as Kroger Health and its family of pharmacies comprising Costco, Publix and HEB are added to the list. Members will be able to gain traction from the increased number of locations where they can now avail of prescription drugs at a lower expense.

The company constantly takes up initiatives to provide better healthcare to its members at a reasonable price. Undoubtedly, this move is in line with its commitment to enhance benefits for its Medicare members.

Earlier this month, Humana announced an array of 2021 Medicare product offerings, such as Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans, etc. Beneficiaries will now be able to choose from 69 new MAPD plans across various additional counties.

Humana will provide people under Medicare coverage with Humana Honor Medicare Advantage plans and even dispense the required health coverage to veterans for the second consecutive year. The company explored new locations for 2021 and even enabled safe enrolment for the beneficiaries.

Medicare Business and Its Scope

The health insurance giant has been consistent when it comes to widening the scope of Medicare business.

It recently unveiled the expansion of its Medicare Advantage plans to reach four more counties in New Jersey where it boasts a strong Medicare Advantage network and offers the same plans across 13 counties. Also, it announced a new Medicare Advantage plan named Humana Honor Plan in the state.

It also inked a deal with market-leading renal care company Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA). The expanded agreement is to strengthen their partnership for better health outcomes of qualified Humana Medicare Advantage and commercial members with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

The health care provider flaunts a strong Medicare business across the United States where it has been offering a minimum of one Medicare plan across 50 states. Notably, it has been providing private health plans coming under the Medicare program for more than 30 years.

The COVID-19 outbreak coupled with an aging population in the United States further spurred demand for the Medicare Advantage plans. In order to ease the financial burden imposed by the pandemic on its Medicare Advantage members, the company even eliminated additional costs for in-network primary care, outpatient behavioral health and telehealth visits for the rest of this year. The business line’s growth is evident from the 54% Medicare membership rise from 2013 to 2018. Although the same dipped 1% in 2019, Individual Medicare membership rose 17.1% year over year in the same time frame, which is a positive.

The full-year individual Medicare Advantage membership is now anticipated to be around 330,000-360,000 members, up from the earlier projected range of 300,000-350,000 members.

Over the past decade, the company saw maximum growth in Individual Medicare Advantage during 2019, which is pretty impressive.

All these initiatives bode well for the business line.

Zacks Rank and Price Performance

Shares of this currently Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have surged 57.5% in a year compared with the industry’s growth of 31.6%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other companies in the same space, such as Centene Corporation CNC, Anthem Inc. ANTM and Molina Healthcare, Inc. MOH,  have also rallied 44.6%, 21% and 73.4%, respectively, in the same time frame.

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