- Associated Press - Thursday, September 28, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - An insurer is partnering with a nonprofit on a new health care insurance product that will be available in Nebraska beginning Nov. 1, when open enrollment begins for 2018.

Medica announced Wednesday it will sell a policy on Nebraska’s Marketplace Exchange next year called “Medica Insure.” Medica Insure will be available in all 93 Nebraska counties.

The insurance company also is partnering with CHI Health on another plan called “Medica with CHI Health” that will be available in more than 20 eastern Nebraska counties and two Iowa counties.

Medica officials say the plan provides several benefit design options, including copay plans, health savings account-compatible plans and a catastrophic plan for those who qualify. Members of the plan receive care from providers in the UniNet Healthcare Network in partnership with CHI Health.

Additionally, the plan allows care for certain transplants, rare cancers and other complex medical conditions through the Mayo Clinic Centers of Excellence program. Patients and one travel companion are given an allowance for transportation, lodging and living expenses.

Other features include access to virtual, quick and urgent care.

“UniNet and CHI Health are excited about this new health plan option with Medica,” said Ann Oasan, president of UniNet. “This allows us to improve the quality of care in Nebraska and Iowa while controlling the costs of health care.”

Medica officials said its average rates will increase 31 percent in Nebraska, but that most customers won’t pay that much out of pocket thanks to federal subsidies.

Nebraska had four companies offering policies compliant with the health care law, but two dropped out last year and another plans to drop out next year, leaving Medica as the only insurer in the state to offer plans compliant with the health care law for 2018.

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