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UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

UPMC Drops Premium Rates

Pittsburgh, Pa., (March 23, 2001) — Medicare beneficiaries in seven western Pennsylvania counties will soon pay less for health care insurance if they enroll in UPMC Health Plan's UPMC for Life, a Medicare HMO product.

Rates for this plan, first introduced on Jan. 1, 2001, will drop various amounts for those who choose medical coverage with prescription drug benefits. The amount of the decrease depends on which of the seven counties the beneficiary lives in.

UPMC for Life is being offered in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fayette, Lawrence, Mercer, and Somerset counties.

"UPMC Health Plan is pioneering a different method for delivering quality health care coverage to Mercer County Medicare beneficiaries who, if enrolled with UPMC for Life, will spend fewer dollars for their health insurance beginning in April 2001," said Patricia Liebman, chief executive officer of UPMC Health Plan.

Members of UPMC for Life will benefit from an innovative approach to managed-care: UPMC for Life has taken medical decision-making away from insurance executives and put it into the hands of physicians and their patients, Liebman said.

These new rates will be in effect through Dec. 31, 2001.

Unlike most managed-care plans that often require the involvement of an insurer in the doctor-patient relationship, UPMC Health Plan products allow health care providers to treat patients without micro-managing by insurance executives, according to Mark Kriscunas, vice-president for government programs of UPMC Health Plan.

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