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UPMC Gets Approval for Medicare HMO

The federal agency that runs Medicare said it has approved UPMC Health Plan's decision to start a Medicare HMO in seven Western Pennsylvania counties outside the region.

UPMC signaled plans to enter the Medicare HMO market in February, after selling a stake it had held in Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield's Security Blue Medicare HMO back to Highmark.

Its agreement with Highmark prohibits UPMC from entering the market in the Pittsburgh region for another year.

The counties where UPMC will begin service are Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fayette, Lawrence, Mercer and Somerset. The Health Care Financing Administration said UPMC can begin enrolling subscribers Nov. 1 for memberships that take effect Jan. 1.

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