Come February 1, 200,000 Northwest Florida Medicaid beneficiaries will have a new provider option.
Lighthouse Health Plan has launched as a new doctor-led Medicaid insurance provider for the 18-county Florida Panhandle region, a service network that will include thousands of doctors, pharmacies and treatment centers.
Headquartered in Pensacola, Lighthouse Health Plan is a community-based health insurance plan that will begin providing Medicaid coverage to beneficiaries in Medicaid Regions 1 and 2 beginning February 1, 2019, serving Escambia to Taylor and Madison counties.
“As a provider-led health plan, Lighthouse has a unique opportunity to bring health care and health insurance coverage together,” said Christie Spencer, CEO, Lighthouse Health Plan. “By working directly with doctors, Lighthouse does not have to navigate all the things traditional insurance companies do. We can convene the right set of health care and community resources to make sure patients receive the care they need.”
Approximately 200,000 people in the Florida Panhandle qualify for Medicaid coverage. Of those, 70 percent are children. Lighthouse is partnering with a broad network of doctors, hospitals and other providers to serve members, with thousands of providers already joining the Lighthouse network.
This month, Lighthouse announced the selection of Christie Spencer to serve as its Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Dan Sontheimer to serve as it’s Chief Medical Officer.
In their roles, Spencer and Sontheimer will lead the organization to improve health in the panhandle area through collaboration and engagement of doctors, members, and the community.
Spencer has held multiple high-level positions with large national and regional health plans, most recently as the National Medicaid Chief Operations Officer at Evolent Health. She was previously Market President for Evolent Health and Chief Operating Officer for Passport Health Plan.
Prior to moving to Pensacola, Sontheimer was the Chief Medical Officer and Vice President at Cox Health. He also served as the President of Baptist Medical Group, and Chief Transformation Officer and Senior Vice President of Baptist Health Care Corporation.
“As a physician, I am pleased to join a health plan with roots in our community,” said Sontheimer. “As a doctor-led plan, we will have new resources to ease the administrative burden and allow doctors to focus on what they do best – providing high-quality care to patients.”
Lighthouse Health Plan will host an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at its new headquarters at 700 E. Gregory Street.