Benefits Data Trust and UPMC Health Plan Announce New Initiative to Improve Health of Pennsylvanians

National nonprofit and health care plan connect members to food, housing, and other important community resources

BDT & UPMC logos

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., July 19, 2021Benefits Data Trust (BDT) and UPMC Health Plan are expanding their partnership to improve the well-being of UPMC Health Plan members by helping them access critical public benefit programs. BDT, a national nonprofit, will act as UPMC Health Plan’s primary partner for screening and public benefits application assistance for thousands of UPMC for You (Medical Assistance) members, helping them pay for basic necessities such as groceries, housing, and utilities.

“We are excited to build upon our successful partnership with BDT to support members and families who need enrollment assistance for programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). We know that access to SNAP and other public benefit programs have a positive impact on an individual’s overall health and quality of life,” said John Lovelace, president, UPMC for You. “This partnership builds on our commitment to serving our communities and will continue to be a legacy of our social impact work at UPMC Health Plan.”

BDT, an organization that harnesses the power of data, technology, and policy to provide efficient and dignified access to public benefits, and UPMC for You have integrated BDT’s benefits application assistance into UPMC Health Plan’s member support workflows. UPMC for You members can be transferred directly from UPMC Member Services’ call center to BDT’s contact center, which screens UPMC for You members and helps them apply for benefit programs, such as SNAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Plan (LIHEAP), and Pennsylvania's Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program (PTRR). 

“We’re excited to be working with UPMC Health Plan to help them prioritize benefits access as part of their extensive population health initiatives,” said Trooper Sanders, CEO of Benefits Data Trust. “Research has demonstrated time and again that people who are enrolled in benefits such as SNAP and WIC [Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children] are healthier and have lower health care costs.”

BDT estimates that more than a third of Pennsylvania Medicaid beneficiaries are not enrolled in SNAP, despite their likely eligibility. UPMC for You and BDT’s initiative seeks to overcome common barriers to access by facilitating simple member screening, transfers, and comprehensive application assistance for multiple benefit programs in one interaction.

As part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Systems for Action study, BDT and UPMC Health Plan are currently evaluating how enrolling UPMC’s dual-eligible members (those enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare) into SNAP influences health care utilization, quality, and cost outcomes. BDT and UPMC Health Plan’s expanded partnership will create an opportunity to further demonstrate how connecting even more individuals to critical public benefit programs can improve the lives of members.

About Benefits Data Trust

Benefits Data Trust harnesses the power of data, technology, and policy to provide efficient and dignified access to assistance, improving people’s health and financial security. Together with a national network of government agencies and other partners, we streamline public benefits systems and connect eligible families and individuals directly to programs that help pay for food, health care, housing, and more. A nonprofit since 2005, BDT has secured more than $7.5 billion in benefits for households across the country, building pathways to economic mobility and a more equitable future.

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About UPMC Insurance Services Division

Serving 4 million members, UPMC Insurance Services Division (ISD) is owned and operated by UPMC, a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. UPMC ISD includes commercial products from UPMC Health Plan for employer groups, as well as individuals. Commercial products also include workers' compensation and employee assistance from nationally known Workpartners®. Government products include Medicare Advantage (UPMC for Life); special needs plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medical Assistance (UPMC for Life Complete Care and UPMC Community HealthChoices); Medical Assistance (UPMC for You); and Children's Health Insurance Program (UPMC for Kids). Community Care Behavioral Health, one of the nation's largest nonprofit managed care behavioral health organizations, offers a full range of services to Commercial and Medical Assistance members.

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