Essentia Health, UCare form PPO

Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia Health and UCare have partnered on a new health plan for Minnesota residents. The new plan, called Essentia Care, is a Preferred Provider Organization Medicare Advantage Plan.

The two organizations will evenly invest in the administration, risk and rewards of the plan. According to a statement, this arrangement allows Essentia's clinicians to design care models that best serve their Medicare Advantage patients.

"We are very proud of this new and exciting partnership between UCare and Essentia Health," UCare President and CEO Jim Eppel said in a statement. "We've combined UCare's extensive Medicare experience with Essentia Health's high-quality healthcare to create a unique and affordable plan that puts the health of its members where it belongs: at the center of all we do. We believe this new and highly collaborative plan is a model for the delivery of high-quality and cost-effective care in the future."

Enrollment for 2016 coverage began Oct. 15 and will continue through Dec. 7, the enrollment period for Medicare Advantage. Coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2016.


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