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A Healthy Choice

UPMC Health Plan joins the Post-Gazette in applauding the spirit of cooperation the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and the Pittsburgh Public Schools displayed in their recent contract negotiations. As the Oct. 13 editorial "Healthy Teachers' Contract" noted, the contract was settled with an unanticipated savings of $15 million. That money benefits teachers and students, and we all know that an excellent and financially healthy public education system is a crucial regional asset.

The editorial correctly pointed out that the $15 million in savings came about only because UPMC Health Plan offered the district and its teachers a choice. Our very existence as a viable, doctor-led health plan that puts people first saved our region millions of dollars. We are proud of that.

UPMC Health Plan offered what we believe is a "Cadillac" proposal to the district, at $20 million to $22 million less than the first bid from the other company. And even more important, UPMC Health Plan was willing to offer its plan in conjunction with the other insurer. Teachers and other Pittsburgh Public Schools employees would have had the best of both worlds -- choice between the two health plans.

It is our position that choice among health plans benefits the consumer and, over years, keeps health insurance costs at reasonable levels. After all, the UPMC Health Plan proposal caused the other insurance company to reduce its bid by $15 million.

Our promise to the community and to the entire region is that we will continue to serve Western Pennsylvania for many years to come. We plan to make sure that employers and their employees and families have a choice now and in the future.

Patricia A. Liebman
Chief Executive Officer
UPMC Health Plan

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