UnitedHealthcare Introduces New Health Plan Offering Lower Premiums and a High-Performing Network in Kansas City

September 29, 2020 | 3 min Read
  • New plan could save local employers up to 15% on health care costs

  • Kansas City-area residents can save money on premiums and access care from Saint Luke’s Health System and Children’s Mercy

Kansas City-area employers can save up to 15% on monthly premiums with a new health plan from UnitedHealthcare that features Saint Luke’s Health System and Children’s Mercy Kansas City in its high-performing network.

The new Core Essential plan provides eligible participants access to Saint Luke’s Health System, which is continually recognized on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals list. Saint Luke’s consists of 18 hospitals and campuses, 10 convenient care clinics, more than 130 primary care and specialty offices treating patients in 65 specialty services, home care and hospice, behavioral health care and a senior living community. Plan participants can access care from Saint Luke’s affiliated physicians and enjoy the flexibility of seeing their doctor through telehealth services.

The network also includes Children’s Mercy, one of the top pediatric health systems in the country. Children’s Mercy is consistently named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News and World Report and is one of only 14 pediatric hospitals in the nation to rank in all 10 specialties for the past six years. In addition to its Adele Hall Campus in Kansas City, Missouri, and Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas in Overland Park, Children’s Mercy has 22 primary care sites throughout the region, four urgent care centers and a robust telemedicine program.

UnitedHealthcare designed the Core Essential plan to deliver a new competitive option to Kansas City employers seeking cost-effective, patient-centered health plans. In addition to the potential cost-savings for employers, the plan will offer employees lower monthly premiums compared to other UnitedHealthcare health plans.

The new plan will be available on Jan. 1 to all fully insured and self-funded employers in Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, as well as Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri. Employers can also access the plan if a majority of their employees live in these five counties, even if their offices or facilities are located in other counties in Kansas and Missouri.

The introduction of the Core Essential plan is the latest example of how UnitedHealthcare and Saint Luke’s are collaborating in an effort to meet the shared goal of improving health outcomes and lowering health care costs in Kansas City. The collaboration began in 2017 with the launch of an accountable care organization (ACO) for members enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's employer-sponsored health plans. Through the ACO, UnitedHealthcare is providing an enhanced level of data and support to Saint Luke’s to enable its physicians to improve health care quality and affordability by delivering more comprehensive and coordinated care to their patients.

“We’re introducing Core Essential because we know that many employers in the Kansas City area are looking for ways to continue providing quality benefits to their employees but at a more affordable cost,” said Rob Broomfield, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Kansas. “Health plans that feature high-performing networks have proven to be effective at lowering health care costs, strengthening the patient-physician relationship, and making it easier and more convenient for employers to manage their employees’ health care needs.”

“Saint Luke’s has a long history of working collaboratively with UnitedHealthcare,” said Randy Meyer, Saint Luke’s Health System vice president of managed care contracting. “We are pleased that more people in the 65 counties we serve will be able to benefit from the high-quality, compassionate care our dedicated physicians and hospitals provide.”

All plan participants will have access to UnitedHealthcare resources designed to make the health care system easier and more convenient to navigate, including dedicated customer care advocates, tools at, a mobile app, virtual visits and a 24-hour Nurse Line.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @UHC on Twitter.