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Essence Healthcare Expands Provider Network to Include SSM Health’s Primary Care Physicians

October 4, 2022


Healthcare organizations collaborate to deliver high quality, affordable care to more St. Louis area Medicare beneficiaries

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 4, 2022 —  ESSENCE HEALTHCARE, a Lumeris owned and operated health plan, announced today that all St. Louis area primary care physicians at SSM Health are accepting Essence’s Medicare Advantage plans as of Oct. 1, 2022.

“This expanded collaboration with SSM Health will give current and future Essence plan members more choices when it comes to physicians and hospitals, while ensuring high quality care and providing patients with a better overall experience throughout their healthcare journey,” said Umar Farooq, President of Essence.

Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Essence’s plan is among a short list of plans nationwide awarded Medicare’s highest overall plan rating of 5 out of 5 stars for 2022. The plan was also once again awarded “Best Medicare Advantage plan” in Missouri for 2022 by U.S. News & World Report.

“We could not be more excited to begin accepting Essence’s Medicare Advantage plans as we continue our Mission of providing exceptional health care services and revealing God’s healing presence to those we serve,” said Dr. Kalyan Katakam, Vice President of Medical Practice at SSM Health. “Together, we are able to better serve and provide greater access and convenience to those who receive healthcare through Medicare Advantage.”

During the 2022 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, Medicare beneficiaries can change their coverage for the coming year, including the opportunity to enroll in a $0 monthly premium plan from Essence Healthcare.

“At Essence, our focus is to provide more benefits, more flexibility, more doctor choice for the beneficiaries in the St. Louis area,” said Suzanne Grossman, VP of Marketing of Essence. “Having the full SSM health system in our network allows us to provide more to the seniors in our community.”


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