As Medicare Advantage continues to gain popularity among seniors, three Southern California companies are pioneering new types of plans that target cultural and ethnic communities with special offerings and native-language practitioners.
Clever Care Health Plan, based in Huntington Beach, and Alignment Health, based in nearby Orange, both have plans aimed at Asian Americans, with extra benefits including coverage for Eastern medicines and treatments such as cupping and tui na massage. Alignment also has an offering targeting Latinos, while Long Beach-based SCAN Health Plan has a product aimed at the LGBTQ+ community. All of them have launched since 2020.
While many Medicare Advantage providers target various communities with their advertising, this trio of companies appear to be among the first in the nation to create plans with provider networks and benefits designed for specific cultural cohorts. Medicare Advantage is typically cheaper than traditional Medicare but generally requires patients to use in-network providers.
“This fits me better,” said Clever Care member Tam Pham, 78, a Vietnamese American from Westminster, California. Speaking to KFF Health News via an interpreter, she said she appreciates the dental care and herbal supplement benefits included in her plan, and especially the access to a Vietnamese-speaking doctor.
“I can always get help when I call, without an interpreter,” she said.