Philadelphia, PA – UPMC Health Plan and Benefits Data Trust (BDT) today announced that their joint initiative has helped UPMC for You Medicaid managed care members access an estimated $7.35 million in benefits since April 2021, helping address health disparities by increasing access to available support services.
UPMC for You is part of a family of health insurance and benefits management products offered by UPMC Insurance Services Division.
Under the partnership, UPMC’s Navigation Resources Hub screens UPMC for You members for additional benefit eligibility and, when appropriate, connects them with BDT to directly apply for programs that support more affordable access to groceries, housing, medicine, and other critical services. To date, BDT has assisted more than 2,250 UPMC for You member households and submitted more than 5,450 applications and referrals for benefits, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and Medicaid coverage renewal.
“Healthy outcomes are primarily driven by issues other than access to health care itself. When families have proper nutrition and access to services to which they are entitled, such as SNAP and LIHEAP benefits, both their quality of life and health outcomes markedly improve,” said John Lovelace, President, Government Programs, UPMC Health Plan. “We are fortunate to partner with BDT to connect our UPMC for You members with a host of valuable resources and services.”
BDT estimates that more than a third of Pennsylvania Medicaid beneficiaries are not enrolled in SNAP, despite their likely eligibility. Research has shown that data-driven outreach and assistance in applying for SNAP significantly increases enrollment by older adults.
“From navigating complicated applications, to lacking internet, to simply not knowing help is out there, too many barriers prevent eligible people from accessing benefits that can help them pay for food, healthcare, utilities, and more,” said Trooper Sanders, CEO of Benefits Data Trust. “This partnership meets people where they are – on the phone with their Medicaid representative – and offers support to apply to other programs that improve health and well-being. When healthcare partners like UPMC Health Plan take initiative to connect low-income members to nutrition assistance and other benefits, they also improve health equity and help Pennsylvania households achieve greater economic stability.”
The partnership is expected to serve a growing number of Pennsylvanians thanks to UPMC for You’s statewide expansion, having increased its membership by nearly 33 percent in 2022. UPMC for You and BDT will identify new strategies to connect Health Plan members to public benefits, including a pilot program leveraging a BDT-developed technological tool that will allow the Resource Navigation Hub to perform data-driven, rapid-eligibility screenings before transferring members to BDT for more comprehensive assistance. This pilot will both increase efficiency in screening members and enhance member experience.
About Benefits Data Trust
Benefits Data Trust (BDT) improves health and financial security by harnessing the power of data, technology, and policy to provide dignified and equitable access to assistance. Together with a national network of government agencies and partners, we efficiently connect people today to programs that pay for food, healthcare, and more while helping to modernize benefits access for tomorrow. A nonprofit since 2005, BDT has secured more than $10 billion in benefits for households across the country, helping to reduce hunger and poverty and build pathways to economic mobility. Learn more at bdtrust.org.
About UPMC Insurance Services Division
The UPMC Insurance Services Division serves more than 4 million members and is owned and operated by UPMC, a world-renowned healthcare provider and insurer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The UPMC Insurance Services Division provides commercial products through UPMC Health Plan for both groups and individuals. Its commercial products also include workers' compensation and employee assistance from nationally known Workpartners®. Government products include Medicare Advantage plans (UPMC for Life); special needs plans for those who are eligible for Medicare and Medical Assistance (UPMC for Life Complete Care and UPMC Community HealthChoices); a Medical Assistance plan (UPMC for You); and Children's Health Insurance Program plans (UPMC for Kids). Community Care Behavioral Health Organization—one of the nation's largest nonprofit managed care behavioral health organizations—is also part of the Insurance Services Division. Community Care offers a full range of services to commercial and Medical Assistance members. For more information, visit upmchealthplan.com.