Medica to Offer its Customers Consumer-Directed Health Plans and OptumHealth Financial Services’ Tax-Advantaged Health Care AccountsMINNETONKA, Minn. —
Medica today announced that it has teamed with OptumHealth Financial Services (OptumHealth) to deliver consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) to all of Medica’s commercial health plan customers – making Medica the first health plan in Minnesota to offer a full spectrum of health benefit services to employers of all sizes.
The relationship will be in effect January 1, 2011, for new Medica customers or existing customers new to consumer-directed health offerings. OptumHealth will provide health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to Medica’s CDHP customers.
Medica’s relationship with OptumHealth will enhance Medica’s CDHP offerings. It enables Medica to expand into new service categories, including CDHPs offered in connection with a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) trust, a non-profit, tax-exempt health and welfare benefit trust commonly offered to government and union employees, and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) plans, which allow workers who lose their jobs under certain conditions to continue with their employer-based coverage at their own expense.
The Medica-OptumHealth relationship also provides additional benefits to employers, members and health care providers:
- For HRAs, OptumHealth will make payments directly to health care providers; previously, members were required to pay providers out-of-pocket and then seek reimbursement.
- Employers will be able to base their HRA contributions on either a calendar year or their plan year.
- Employers will also be able to access an OptumHealth owned consolidated bank account for HRAs and FSAs; this gives them the ability to set up transfers on a weekly basis, providing better financial management and forecasting.
- Members will have enhanced Web capabilities including a consolidated view of medical and financial account transactions through myMedica.com.
“We evaluated a number of potential partners for our CDHP products, and OptumHealth was the clear leader due to its key performance and execution on the metrics we evaluated,” said Scott Reid, Medica vice president of product strategy and development. “Through this partnership, Medica will be the only health plan in the region to offer the full range of CDHP capabilities to our small-market, middle-market and large-group customers.”
OptumHealth Financial Services has helped thousands of customers successfully introduce tax-advantaged health accounts through its consumer and employer education programs. Consumer adoption of the company’s HSAs, through its bank, OptumHealth Bank, Member FDIC, has grown to more than $1 billion in HSA deposits and related investment assets.
“The appeal of tax-advantaged health care accounts continues to grow as more people look for smart ways to save and pay for qualified health care expenses,” said Jim Priebe, vice president, OptumHealth Financial Services. “We look forward to providing Medica’s CDHP customers tax-advantaged health accounts and working with them to provide consultation and resources that can help their members understand and embrace these valuable options.”
Medica is a health insurance company headquartered in Minneapolis and active in the Upper Midwest. With nearly 1.6 million members, the non-profit company provides health care coverage in the employer, individual, Medicaid, Medicare and Medicare Part D markets in Minnesota and a growing number of counties in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Medica also offers national network coverage to employers who also have employees outside the Medica regional network.
Medica has the highest accreditation status, Excellent, from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA®) for its Minnesota Medicaid HMO plans and commercial health plans in Minnesota and North Dakota. Medica’s vision is to become the community’s health plan of choice, trusted for its integrity, respected for its service, and admired for its commitment to innovation and efficiency.
OptumHealth Inc. helps individuals navigate the health care system, finance their health care needs and achieve their health and well-being goals. The company's personalized health advocacy and engagement programs tap a unique combination of capabilities that encompass public sector solutions, care solutions, behavioral solutions, specialty benefits and financial services. Serving nearly 60 million people, OptumHealth is one of the nation's largest health and wellness businesses, and is a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company. More information about OptumHealth can be found at OptumHealth.com.
OptumHealth Financial Services™ administers approximately 2 million consumer health accounts and operates the nation’s largest transmission network for electronic claims payments, serving health plans and more than 500,000 doctors and other health care providers.