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Braven Health℠ Makes History in its Inaugural Year Becoming Top Selling Medicare Advantage Plan with Record Enrollment in its Eight New Jersey Counties

Braven Health offers zero premium plans packed with supplemental benefits

(Newark, NJ, May 13, 2021)— Braven Health℠ — the first and only New Jersey Medicare company jointly owned and operated by New Jersey’s largest and most trusted health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) and two of the state’s leading health systems, Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJBarnabas Health – made history in its inaugural enrollment, achieving the highest enrollment across its eight counties for any New Jersey Medicare Advantage plan since 2007. In fact, Braven Health enrolled more members than all New Jersey Medicare Advantage plans did across its eight counties for 2021.

“Braven Health is delivering on its promise to create a member-focused Medicare Advantage experience that meets the unique health needs of its New Jersey members,” said Luisa Y. Charbonneau, Chief Executive Officer of Braven Health. “Our enrollment numbers prove that Braven Health listened to New Jersey’s Medicare-eligible consumers and delivered plans that better serve New Jersey. We look forward to Braven Health’s continued growth, as we provide the best possible benefits and coordinated care that our great state deserves.”

In its inaugural open enrollment, Braven Health enrolled more than 13,000 people in its eight-county coverage area, which includes Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic and Union. In that eight-county area, seven out of ten Medicare beneficiaries who selected a Medicare Advantage plan selected Braven Health. The record-breaking percentage nearly doubled the all-time high market share percentage by a Medicare Advantage plan in a single year in that eight-county area.

Braven Health adapted to better serve its members and potential members during the COVID-19 pandemic, holding virtual information sessions and providing remote assistance to its members. This creative approach helped Braven Health realize its record-breaking enrollment success.

Braven Health, which launched in September 2020, offers a personalized and customized health care experience guided by those who know each member’s health best — their doctors.

“No one knows a patient’s health like their doctor, from their health history to the unique obstacles they face every day,” said Braven Health Provider Council member Philip Woodham, MD, a Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group internal medicine physician. “ With Braven Health, physicians are helping drive the health plan to ensure a patient’s physical and mental health needs are met.”

“Braven Health is a truly local health plan, bringing together New Jersey’s patients, physicians, its two largest health systems and insurer to put patients first,” said Braven Health Provider Council member Jessica Israel, MD, Corporate Chair, Geriatrics, and Senior Vice President, Geriatrics and Palliative Care at RWJBarnabas Health. Dr. Israel is also a member of the combined Medical Group of RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health and Corporate Director of The James and Sharon Maida Geriatrics Institute. “The plan is helping to facilitate the important relationship between the patient and his/her physician, which is proven to lead to better outcomes and more effective chronic disease management.”

With more seamless coordination, Braven Health is a whole new approach to Medicare. Braven Health represents a major milestone in New Jersey’s journey to transform the fee-for-service health care system and improve health care quality, affordability and the customer experience through greater integration, coordination and alignment. As New Jersey’s first payor-provider owned health plan, Braven Health effectively leverages the collective brand strength of each organization to deliver high-quality, personalized care at a lower cost.

Those who are Medicare-eligible can learn more about Braven Health’s Medicare plans by visiting, contacting their broker or attending a virtual meeting. Consumers can get additional information by visiting or calling 1-888-444-0393 (TTY 711).


About Braven Health℠

Braven Health℠ is a New Jersey payor-provider owned health plan. Owned and operated jointly by a comprehensive health system, Hackensack Meridian Health, and a trusted health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, it offers competitive premium options and comprehensive benefits that go beyond traditional health insurance to support older adults who want more from life and more from their health care partners. It offers Medicare Advantage plans in eight New Jersey counties with a broad provider network anchored by Hackensack Meridian Health and that includes all health care professionals who participate in Horizon BCBSNJ’s managed care network. To further support this innovation, HMH and Horizon BCBSNJ are working with RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) to join Braven Health, subject to approval by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Braven Health is an affiliate of Horizon BCBSNJ and is licensed by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Learn more at

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, vision and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving nearly 3.5 million members.

About Hackensack Meridian Health

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers — Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK University Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals —Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital — Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals — JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and over 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet®— recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its third class of students in 2020 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

About RWJBarnabas Health

RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering nine counties with five million people. The system includes eleven acute care hospitals— Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton in Hamilton, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway in Rahway and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, three acute care children’s hospitals and a leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital with a network of outpatient centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, affiliated medical groups, multi-site imaging centers and two accountable care organizations.

RWJBH is New Jersey’s largest private employer — with more than 33,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns — and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBH’s affiliation with Rutgers University has created New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns RWJBH with Rutgers’ education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey - the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center — and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.