Seniors Find Increased Value with UPMC for Life Medicare Advantage Plans

Growth Rate Exceeds National Average

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- UPMC for Life, the Medicare Advantage program of UPMC Health Plan, is a growing choice for health-conscious Medicare consumers. Results of the latest Open Enrollment Period available from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) note that UPMC for Life saw a growth rate of 13.6 percent in 2011, more than four percentage points above the national growth rate for such plans.

"The reasons behind the increases are many, but one stands out," said Eugene Scanzera, Vice President of Medicare for UPMC Health Plan. "When Medicare members are shopping they are thinking of higher value."

"When it comes to value, there are four variables they have to consider – total costs that include premium cost and cost sharing, benefits, quality and service. And, for all four variables, our product is a great value."

UPMC Health Plan's reputation for quality, superior customer service and its concierge-level of additional service are the factors that drive growth as well as help maintain high retention rates for Medicare Advantage members.

UPMC for Life's total membership as of January 1, 2012, is 92,617, an increase of 11,072 members from January 1, 2011. CMS, the federal agency that administers Medicare, announced that the national rate of growth for Medicare Advantage was 9.4 percent. In 2011, there were 11.7 million Medicare Advantage members, and it rose to 12.8 million in 2012.

Over the past four years, UPMC for Life has grown from 64,676, to 92,617 members. The rates of increase were 11.7 percent in 2010, 12.8 percent in 2011 and 13.6 percent in 2012.

Nationally, UPMC ranks 15th of more than 160 plans in terms of enrollment and is the third largest Medicare Advantage plan in Pennsylvania. In Allegheny County, UPMC for Life membership increased 11.2 percent to 30,564.

UPMC for Life has consistently ranked among the best plans in the nation in terms of quality measures such as effectiveness of care, member satisfaction, and plan operation according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

UPMC for Life saw the biggest rise for its Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO. UPMC for Life offers a high-deductible PPO plan, a PPO plan with drug coverage and a PPO available to workers through their employer group. UPMC for Life also offers three Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans.

"Western Pennsylvania is a very competitive landscape for Medicare," said Scanzera. "For us to have high growth, it means changing the market share and we have done that. It's clear we're getting more than just our `fair share' of growth."   

About UPMC Health Plan
UPMC Health Plan, the second-largest health insurer in western Pennsylvania, is owned by UPMC, one of the nation's top-ranked health systems. The integrated partner companies of the UPMC Insurance Services Division – which includes UPMC Health Plan, UPMC WorkPartners, LifeSolutions (EAP), UPMC for You (Medical Assistance), and Community Care Behavioral Health – offer a full range of group health insurance, Medicare, Special Needs Plan (SNP), Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medical Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance, and workers' compensation products and services to nearly 1.8 million members. UPMC Health Plan's local provider network includes UPMC as well as community providers, totaling more than 125 hospitals and more than 11,500 physicians throughout Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland. For more information, visit