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How Premera Blue Cross broke into the Medicare Advantage market [Q&A]

Senior markets exec Tracy Bos explains how marketing and plan design helped attract 25K members in two years

Humana and UnitedHealth dominate the fast-growing Medicare Advantage market across the country. But Washington-based Premera Blue Cross proved that insurers can challenge the top dogs.

Although Premera has a strong presence in its region with almost 1.8 million members, it wasn't in the Medicare Advantage market. That changed two years ago when it introduced its first Medicare Advantage products into the competitive market. It went from zero to 25,000 members in two years.

To learn the secrets of Premera's success, FierceHealthPayer spoke with Tracy Bos, director and general manager of Premera's senior markets.

FierceHealthPayer: How did Premera enroll so many new Medicare Advantage members in just two years?

Tracy Bos: We see the key to our success as a combination of our widespread portfolio--we have four products on the market and they meet the member where they are from a health perspective--and a marketing campaign that we're really proud of.

It's about understanding the market well enough to design a product that resonates with the people in the market. We did a lot of heavy lifting and deep thinking in the product design to make sure the products meet the needs of this market.