Mountlake Terrace, Wash. — (September 10, 2018) — Premera Blue Cross, Washington’s leading health plan, today announced it has received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the acquisition of Federal Way-based Soundpath Health’s Medicare Advantage contract, which provides health care benefits to more than 22,000 Medicare-eligible customers in Washington. The acquisition is effective January 1, 2019.
With this acquisition, Premera Blue Cross will become the largest, locally owned carrier of Medicare Advantage plans in the state with more than 37,000 customers, more than doubling its current customer base of 18,000. We will be offering plans in these counties: King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Lewis, Thurston, Spokane, and Stevens.
Medicare Advantage plans are sold through contracts with the federal government. Often referred to as “Part C” plans, they often provide additional benefits not offered under original Medicare Parts A and B. Many Part C plans also include Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits.
“We’re proud to support the Medicare population as demonstrated with this acquisition, the introduction of new products, and the expansion into additional counties in Washington state,” said Tracy Bos, Director and General Manager of Senior Markets for Premera Blue Cross. “Our customers will have access to Premera’s broad Medicare Advantage network of doctors and hospitals under the stability and security of the Blue Cross brand which has served Washington residents for more than 80 years.”
Soundpath Health customers will continue to receive their current benefits through the end of the year. Premera and Soundpath Health will work closely with CMS to ensure all members who receive benefits through Soundpath Health are properly notified.
Premera’s 2018 Medicare Advantage health plans earned 4 out of 5 stars from CMS. CMS created the Star Rating system to allow Medicare consumers to assess the overall quality of Medicare Advantage plans in various health, wellness and consumer satisfaction categories. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.
Premera Blue Cross, a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to approximately 2 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.
Bo JungmayerPremera Blue Cross