Humana Expands Affordable Vision Insurance To New States

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The controversy over health insurance reform has led to a backlash against many health insurance providers who have begun raising premiums and individual plans in anticipation of the coming overhaul. Among these groups is Humana Inc., which has just announced the release of its new affordable vision plan for individuals.

Humana Inc. was one of many health insurance providers including Aetna, Wellpoint, and Blue Cross Blue Shield invited to the White House last week to speak about their rate hikes. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius chided the CEOs and warned of full investigations into the price raising. Even President Obama stopped in to shame the companies by reading a letter from a cancer patient.

The resulting outcome sees health insurance providers pulling back on plans to raise premiums and firing back with their own campaigns descrying plans for healthcare overhaul. Humana, however has taken a slightly more passive and agreeable approach with its new vision plan.

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According to MarketWatch, the plan will be marketed under Humana’s individual health division HumanaOne and is to be called HumanaOne Vision Focus Plan. The plan will be affordable starting at $13.99 in some states and will not take into account one’s current health status.

Humana’s Vision Focus Plan will allow for annual eye exams and lenses for a copayment fee, as well as discounted Lasik treatment and retail frames. This plan is available online in 19 states. Humana has another plan called HumanaOne Vision Care plan, which is available in an additional 18 states.

Humana is based in Louisville, KY. In February, the company announced that it would be cutting 2,500 positions within the company in order deal with increasing medical costs and decreasing memberships. These positions will mostly come from outsourcing and administrative areas.

An additional 1,100 jobs will be added in medical cost containment, specialty products and pharmacy management areas in order to supplement the jobs excised. Membership has declined by 11 percent in 2009 alone.

Humana is a considerably smaller health insurance provider in comparison to heavy weights such as Blue Cross Blue Shield. Should health insurance and health care reform take place, they company maybe pressed to keep up with the changes.

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