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WellPoint Affiliates Expand Medicare Advantage Plans To 46 New Counties In 2013

Stocks in this article: WLP

WellPoint affiliated plans are adding Medicare Advantage (MA) products in 46 new counties in eight states for the 2013 Annual Election Period (AEP), which is when most people purchase their Medicare coverage.

MA plans incorporate Medicare Parts A (hospital) and B (medical) into one convenient product that may include additional benefits. Part D also can be added for drug coverage (MAPD). Millions of people have chosen these plans, which offer certain preventive health care services at no cost to help keep beneficiaries healthy, detect diseases at an early stage and avoid preventable illnesses.

“Our focus with this expansion is really about offering people the right plans in the right places,” said Leeba Leesin, president of WellPoint’s senior business.

WellPoint affiliated MA plans are being launched in 13 counties in Maine, covering most of the state, and three counties in New Hampshire. Other expansions include 13 counties in Georgia, nine counties in eastern Wisconsin, three counties in Missouri, two counties in California and Colorado, and one in Virginia.

In addition to the expansion, people in many counties that were already served by WellPoint affiliated plans will have access to new products, including the first-ever products on the east coast with access to the CareMore health delivery system. These “special needs plans” will be offered in the Richmond, Va., and Brooklyn, N.Y., areas.

CareMore, a WellPoint subsidiary, is expanding into California’s Alameda County and is opening four Neighborhood Care Centers in southern California.

WellPoint affiliates also offer Medicare Supplement products in all states in their service area.

“People who are eligible for Medicare are a very diverse group with very different needs,” said Leesin. “Some are strong and independent and plan to travel the country or world. Others need a little support getting their health back. Our objective is to offer a variety of plans so everyone reaches their goals, no matter what they are.”

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