CHICAGO (November 2, 2021)—Zing Health, a provider of Medicare Advantage health plans, is eliminating referral requirements, shrinking its list of procedures that need prior authorization, and charging point-of-service plan members the same co-pays for Medicare-covered services in and out of network.
For 2022, Zing Health will offer 17 health plans across its Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan service areas to give Medicare beneficiaries more choice in their medical coverage. Its Illinois service area has also grown by four counties, expanding access to its plans to the entire northeast corner of the state. Zing Health’s Medicare Advantage plans break from the one-size-fits-all healthcare model, offering easy-to-understand solutions plus dental, vision, hearing, and other benefits not provided by traditional Medicare.
“We are empowering patients to choose the care plan that is best for them,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Zing Health’s founder and CEO. “We are putting patients in the driver’s seat and allowing them to take control of their care.”
Zing Health Listens, Then Prescribes Solutions
Each year, Zing Health improves its best-in-class health plans based on feedback from members, providers, and the insurance agent and broker community, as well as new guidelines and regulations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
“Zing Health’s model of care is based around mitigating access issues or removing those barriers to care,” said Saadia Selvie, Zing Health’s vice president of sales and marketing. “In that regard, in 2022 we’ve eliminated the referral requirement. Now, a member of our plan can access our in-network providers right away without having to wait for a referral from their primary care physician.”
Members in the Zing Open Access health plan, who choose in-network doctors as their primary care physicians, will have the same co-pay provisions for Medicare covered services in 2022, whether the provider is in or out of network.
Zing Health also worked with CMS to extend savings on insulin to more of its health plans. “The Insulin Savings Program helps Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes decrease their cost of insulin,” Selvie said. “They’re paying no more than $35 for a 30-day supply and $70 for a 90-day supply.”
In 2021, Zing Health adopted the Insulin Savings Program for chronic care plans. For 2022, most Zing Health plans include the benefit, extending the discount to members who otherwise would not qualify for the price break.
Caregiver, Telehealth, Food Benefits Added to All Health Plans
New health plan features on tap for 2022 include a caregiver benefit. An in-home assistant from the family-care agency Papa is available to combat loneliness or social isolation, assist with essential transportation, and connect members with resources in the community. The caregiver support will be available in all plans.
A telehealth benefit allows members to make same-day video appointments to talk to a board-certified physician or licensed behavioral health specialist in the MDLive network. Telehealth visits have $0 co-pays, and members can receive urgent care on a virtual basis for over 80 common conditions.
“Because of the impact of the pandemic, remote access to responsive, quality care is extremely important,” Selvie said. “The telehealth feature is offered across all plans.”
Zing Health also saw many food insecurity issues pop up during the pandemic, so it created a benefit to provide members with groceries on a monthly basis.
“Members can take their healthy food card and go to a grocery store and get groceries, or they can have them delivered to their home at no additional cost,” Selvie said. The food benefit is provided across all Zing Health plans to members with qualifying conditions.
No matter what health plan members choose, Zing Health’s plans will provide members with quality care in its provider network and options to choose out-of-network providers. Plans require no co-pays on primary care physician visits, lab work or X-rays, and $10 co-pays on urgent care visits.
“Medicare Advantage plans are not all alike,” Selvie said. “We understand how copays can be a financial hurdle to access benefits, and we’ve brought that experience, knowledge and understanding into our plan designs, so that the member’s health comes first.”