U of M Chooses Medica as Sole Plan Administrator

The University of Minnesota selected Minnetonka-based Medica from a pool of five candidates to be its sole health plan administrator.

Minnetonka-based Medica has been selected by the University of Minnesota to be its sole health plan administrator.

Medica, which has provided one of the university's health plan options since 2006, was selected from a pool of five health plan providers for a six-year contract. A Wednesday afternoon phone call to a university representative to get the names of the other four provider candidates was not immediately returned.

The university purchased health care benefits through the state until 2001, when it split off and started contracting with four vendors. In 2006, the school went down to two vendors-Medica and Bloomington-based HealthPartners.

The university said in a statement that Medica was “in the position to best meet its overall needs.” Factors that the university considered when choosing its sole administrator included provider and administrative quality, provider access, customer service, and pricing.

“We have been pleased with our partnership over the last six years and are confident that Medica is the right choice for us as the single administrator for the next six,” Dann Chapman, director of employee benefits at the U, said in a statement. “I believe we have selected a 'best-in-class' partner for facing the continuing challenges of a changing health care market and difficult economic times.”

Under the contract, Medica's University of Minnesota membership will increase by about 58 percent-from 24,000 people to about 38,000 people. The company would not disclose the amount of revenue it expects to gain under the new contract.

Medica spokesman Greg Bury told Twin Cities Business that Medica has a long history of providing services for school districts, but this will be the first large university for which it is the sole provider.

“We also provide services for large national customers with as many, if not more, employees than the University of Minnesota,” Bury said.

Medica is the state's second-largest insurer based on revenue, which totaled $3.4 billion in 2009, the latest period for which data is available.