Medica announced it will bring new competition to the health insurance market for individuals and family members who are Kansas residents under the age of 65. Medica, a major non-profit health insurance company currently serving about 1.7 million members in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, will offer Kansans several health plan options designed to meet their wide-ranging needs.

The suite of products will be sold under the product name Medica Connect – both on and off the Kansas Health Insurance Marketplace.

"Medica is delighted to bring new and competitive choices in health insurance to Kansas," said Dannette Coleman, Medica senior vice president and general manager of individual and family business. "Medica has demonstrated stability and service — serving the Midwest for 40 years.

"We know Kansans, like other Midwesterners, appreciate overall value, outstanding service and ease-of-use when shopping for insurance, as well as when using it. We are committed to offering health insurance products in the individual market to the people of Kansas for years to come."

Medica Connect features an array of plan designs. Preventive care in all plans is 100 percent covered, with no copays or coinsurance. Medica offers health savings account-compatible plans as well as plans that provide immediate coverage (with a copay) for a range of medical services and prescriptions drugs.

Prices will be based on metal levels. The plans are available for an effective date of January 1, 2017, and will go on sale at the beginning of open enrollment on November 1, 2016. Full product and premium details will be released in October.

A key feature of the Medica Connect product is the relationship Medica has formed with Mayo Clinic for a Centers of Excellence program. The program allows patients to receive care at Mayo Clinic with Medica providing a travel, lodging and meal stipend for the patient and a companion, to provide peace of mind to individuals and families experiencing significant health care issues.

Medica Connect features a broad open access network through ProviDRs Care Network. Owned by the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, ProviDRs Care has more than 11,500 practitioners, and 168 hospitals throughout its service area, which includes Kansas and surrounding states.

Medica places a high value on its members’ experience. "Shopping for health insurance can be confusing," Coleman said. "We’re here to make it easier to understand. We strive to communicate with our members in clear, friendly, and jargon-free language.

"We train our customer service and sales staffs to help people understand their choices and their plans. We believe Kansans will benefit from additional choices and competitive premiums."

Medica Connect will be available via the Kansas Health Insurance Marketplace, select brokers and through Medica directly, providing Kansans the opportunity to shop in the way that best meets their needs. While rates are the same regardless of how coverage is purchased, premium subsidies are available only by purchasing coverage through the marketplace.