MedicareCompareUSA announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Allina Health to establish a toll-free helpline that will make it easier for local Medicare beneficiaries to find a health plan that is accepted by an Allina facility and its affiliated physicians. Based in Minneapolis, Allina Health is a not-for-profit healthcare system that owns or operates 13 hospitals and more than 90 clinics throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

The new agreement with Allina Health is the latest in a series of recent contract signings by MedicareCompareUSA, which has quickly emerged as the leading company in its space as the Medicare market increasingly dominates the healthcare landscape. Building on a record-setting year in 2017, MedicareCompareUSA has a presence in more than 20 states and works with many of the nation’s leading hospitals and health systems including Tenet Health, CHI (in Texas, Nebraska and Washington) Providence Health (part of LifePoint Health) in South Carolina, and Emory Health System in Atlanta. Its insurance helplines support health systems that nationally provide care for over 4 million Medicare patients.

The helpline created with Allina Health will connect callers with licensed local agents who are specially trained to help educate consumers on the features of all Medicare options, including Medicare Advantage, Supplement and Prescription plans. In addition to providing information, these agents also help seniors enroll in whatever plan they chose, thus simplifying and streamlining what is often a very confusing and cumbersome process.

“Many seniors have existing relationships with doctors and hospitals that have been built over time, and we know from experience that continued access to their care team is extremely important once they go on Medicare,” said Kerri Lenderman, director of consulting services with MedicareCompareUSA. “This new helpline, available free to those on Medicare, will make it easier for beneficiaries to find a plan that is accepted by one of Allina’s facilities and affiliated physicians, thus assuring continuity of care while preserving those bonds of trust.”

Lenderman says that the new helpline will be particularly beneficial to seniors interested in understanding their insurance options when their Cost Plans sunset on December 31, 2018. “It will also be invaluable for those just turning 65 who become inundated with conflicting marketing messages from competing plans,” she says. “The new helpline is a one-stop information destination so seniors can feel informed and confident when they are making this important decision.”

By enrolling through the new helpline, Allina Health will also be able to communicate with members throughout the year regarding important news that may affect their access or health coverage. This includes providing health plan members an annual review of their Medicare coverage and assisting members affected by Medicare plan network changes that frequently occur on an annual basis.

“Hospitals and health systems can no longer passively sit on the sidelines and assume that their patient portfolio is secure, or that new seniors will find them,” said Lenderman. “Our insurance helplines have proven time and time again to be a successful strategy for providers not just attracting Medicare beneficiaries but – perhaps even more important – retaining current ones. We’re thrilled to now be able to provide this service to Allina Health, its physicians and its patients.”