Humana, Inc., is a healthcare corporation based in Louisville, Kentucky, which administers healthcare insurance to over 11.5 million individuals. The company is a member of the Fortune 100, with over $33 billion in annual revenues. Humana markets its products in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and even has business ties to Western Europe. Humana employs over 26,000 people in its offices and sells insurance through thousands of employer group plans, along with individual plans for those without employer-based insurance.
Humana began as a nursing home company in 1961. The company began purchasing hospitals, and in 1974 the name “Humana” was given to the new corporation. Humana has maintained its interest in hospitals and healthcare research, being on the forefront of the artificial heart research of Jarvik and DeVries.
United Healthcare attempt to acquire Humana in 1998, but the takeover fell through. Since 2001, Humana has partnered with various other companies to extend its healthcare coverage to larger markets.
Humana and the United States Military
One of Humana’s largest acquisitions was the right to administer all TRICARE health insurance programs for the United States Military. Humana administers TRICARE benefits through a network of providers both on and off military bases around the country.
Humana Health Insurance Plans
Humana offers a variety of healthcare plan types to serve the needs of its varied customer base. Humana offers different plans for individuals, for employer group plans, and for Medicare patients.
Individual plans are available in consumer-drive form, in which the individual pays into an HSA (healthcare savings account) to meet expenses; in a co-pay plan such as a PPO; and in a 100% after-deductible format. Individuals can research options for basic healthcare and supplements such as pharmacy and other add-ons by visiting Humana’s website.
Through employer group plans, Humana also offers a wide variety of options. Not all plans are available in all areas, however and some states put limitations on certain types of plans.
Humana’s primary types of coverage are HMOs, PPOs, and traditional indemnity plans. Humana’s HMOs offer fairly strict in-network coverage, but a wide variety of in-network providers all over the country. HMOs will have the least expensive premiums of the three types of plans. PPOs offer more flexibility, but usually cost more both in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Traditional indemnity insurance is the most flexible of the three, but is also the most expensive.
Humana also provides a variety of non-traditional types of coverage. Humana’s high-deductible plans allow employers to keep premium costs low for employees by allowing them to meet a relatively high deductible before the company pays benefits. This type of plan can also be partnered with some type of healthcare savings account which will be used to meet the deductible. Humana’s PCA plan is specifically designed to set up a debit-card account which will help the patient meet the require copays. Coverage First is an option to provide very basic healthcare and major medical coverage for hospitalization. Point of Service plans offer consumer choice between in-network and out-of-network providers.
Humana and Medicare
For Medicare recipients, Humana offers Medicare options including supplement plans, prescription drug coverage, and Medicare Advantage plans. Customers looking for Medicare options can visit Humana’s website and download several types of literature available to explain Medicare options.
Humana has partnered with Wal-Mart to provide a preferred prescription drug plan (PDP), as well. The monthly premium is less than $15 per month, making it an affordable option, especially for those who must regularly take medications.
Humana Customer Service Review and Financial Ratings
Like most large health insurance companies, Humana struggles against many surveys which indicate that customers are unsatisified with its service. However, Humana is a solid company with sound financial backing which means that it will not be in danger of being unable to pay claims for the foreseeable future. Humana earned an A- (Excellent) score from A.M. Best, one of the nation’s top independent financial analysis organizations. While some customer service indicators are that Humana’s service is not top-notch, Humana scored at least as well as the other large companies in overall customer satisfaction. Humana offers more options, for the most part, than competitively-priced and sized companies, and therefore may be a better choice for individuals and small companies which require a variety of options in choosing healthcare plans.
To see if Humana is the right company for your healthcare needs, talk to your employee benefits provider, visit the website, or talk to an independent health insurance broker or agent who can explain Humana’s plans to you and help you make a decision about your healthcare coverage options.
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