sells health insurance company
officials said July 30 that employees will see no change in their
health benefits following the sale of Blue Ridge Health Alliance
Inc., parent company of QualChoice
of Virginia Health Plan, to a Maryland-based company. QualChoice
administers U.Va.s self-insured health plan.
want to assure you that this sale will not change your health
benefits, said Yoke San Reynolds, U.Va.s vice president
for finance, in an e-mail sent July 30 to University employees.
The only change for you and your dependents is that a different
company will administer our plan.
will not likely be affected in the short term, she said. We
do not anticipate that the sale will have any effect on your costs
in 2002. If there are increases to the plans premiums or
co-payments for next year, they will reflect the level of participants
claims in 2001, as well as any changes or enhancements to the
Health Care Inc. of Bethesda, Md., which operates health plans
and insurance companies covering 1.8 million people, mostly in
the eastern United States, announced that it would acquire Blue
Ridge Health Alliance for $12.5 million. The sale is expected
to close in the fall.
part of the sale, Coventry entered into a five-year provider contract
with the U.Va. Medical Center and its physicians, represented
by the U.Va. Health Services Foundation.
University and the Health Services Foundation formed the Blue
Ridge Health Alliance in 1994 as a for-profit corporation, and
each entity still controls approximately 48 percent of the company.
Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville became a minority
shareholder in November 1995.
Ridges QualChoice plan has approximately 110,000 members
in central and southwestern Virginia, including 70,000 fully insured
through group health plans.
remainder are in employers self-insured plans including
the University of Virginia Health Plan that have contracted
with QualChoice to administer their health benefits. About 24,000
University employees, retirees and dependents are enrolled in
the U.Va. Health Plan.
health systems are finding that the demands of operating managed-care
organizations in todays rapidly changing markets are a major
distraction from their main missions, said Leonard W. Sandridge,
U.Va.s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
We want to focus on what we do best: providing excellent
healthcare, advancing medical research and preparing the next
generation of doctors and nurses.
Blue Ridge acquisition is another step in the continued building
of our business, said Allen F. Wise, Coventrys president
and chief executive officer. Along with Southern Health,
our existing Virginia HMO, this acquisition provides a strong
platform in the Virginia market for continued profitable growth.
In addition, I am especially pleased to have a continuing relationship
with a premier health system like the University of Virginia to
provide quality health care to our members.
of Virginia is headquartered in the U.Va. Research Park at North
Fork. Martha DErasmo is president and CEO.