Medica Launches New Health Plan Offering

My Plan by Medica allows companies to contribute to employees' health plans while offering flexibility on how much coverage employees have and the amount that they will spend out of their own pockets.

Minnetonka-based Medica on Monday launched a new health plan offering that provides more flexibility though a range of health plan choices while retaining group benefits.

The new offering, called My Plan by Medica, is available to fully insured employers beginning with an effective coverage date of July 1, 2011.

Here's how the plan works: Employers decide on a fixed amount that they will contribute to each employee's health care costs, and that money is placed into an account. Each employee is then able to apply the money from the account to one of 20 different group health benefit plans that offer a range of deductibles, coinsurance, and benefits.

Employees use an online selection tool to choose their plans. The online tool was developed by another local company, Minneapolis-based Bloom Health-which helps employers of all sizes and industries better define and control their health care spending.

The tool asks each employee a series of questions about their financial situation, health status, and risk tolerance and provides a custom list of three group plans that best match each individual's needs.

“Our defined contribution model addresses both the needs of employers and consumers,” Abir Sen, Bloom Health founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Our customers are finding that their employees are more satisfied with their benefits than with traditional plan offerings. And they are more likely to get preventive care than through traditional plan offerings, more likely to go to the doctor at appropriate times, and more interested in the state of their own health.”

In addition to employees having flexibility to choose the type of plans they want, the new offering also makes clear how much the employer is contributing to employees' plans.

Medica is the state's second-largest health insurer based on revenue, which totaled $2.9 billion in 2010.