Humana (HUM) Boosts Presence in West Virginia With New Deal

·3 min read

Humana Inc. HUM recently received a four-year contract from the West Virginia Public Employee’s Insurance Agency (PEIA), effective from Jan 1 of next year. Notably, Humana has been sharing a strong relationship with PEIA for more than a decade now.

The new contract will enable Humana to continue delivering health insurance coverage across West Virginia. This, in turn, is likely to benefit not only the state’s Medicare-eligible retirees numbering 54,000 but also their Medicare-eligible dependents as well.

Moreover, Humana has an extensive network of Humana’s hospitals and doctors operating across West Virginia. As a result, the company has been effectively catering to health issues across the state. Case in point, Humana presently offers a diverse array of health plans and services to over 170,000 residents across the state in the form of Medicare Advantage, Medicare prescription drug plans, Medicare supplement and TRICARE coverage.

With an already strong base of Medicare members in West Virginia, the renewed program is likely to enable Humana in improving health conditions of the state’s retirees further. This, in turn, is expected to strengthen the company’s presence in the state.

Furthermore, the move seems to be a time opportune one considering the state’s growing aging population. Time and again, Humana has undertaken a host of measures to protect the aging population of the United States. It even introduced the CenterWell brand in March 2021, which integrates Humana’s senior-focused primary care centers for devising personalized health care plans for senior patients.

Notably, Humana remains well-poised to benefit from its strong Medicare business via which it has been offering enhanced health care services and foraying into areas not delved before. This has been strengthening its U.S. footprint and resulting in increased membership for Humana. For 2021, the company expects growth in individual Medicare Advantage membership of around 425,000-475,000 members, suggesting growth of 11-12% from the reported figure of 2020.

Several contract wins and renewals similar to the latest one have been providing a boost to the company’s Medicare business. A robust individual Medicare Advantage business coupled with solid growth in state-based contract membership have driven Humana’s first-quarter 2021 revenues.

Other healthcare providers boasting a strong Medicare business include those of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated UNH, Centene Corporation CNC and Cigna Corporation CI.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) healthcare provider have gained 11.7% in a year, compared with the industry’s rally of 33.2%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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