Sharp HealthCare, UnitedHealthcare Establish Five-Year Agreement and Introduce Medicare Advantage Plan

SAN DIEGO — UnitedHealthcare and Sharp HealthCare have extended their relationship for five years, ensuring that UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage members will have continued access to Sharp's hospitals and physician network until at least 2016.

As part of the relationship, UnitedHealthcare will rebrand one of its Medicare Advantage plans in 2012 as Sharp SecureHorizons Plan by UnitedHealthcare (HMO). People who enroll in the plan can access comprehensive coverage exclusively at Sharp's extensive hospital and physician network in San Diego County.

The rebranded Sharp SecureHorizons Plan offers beneficiaries the peace of mind of accessing their health care through two of the most well-respected health care organizations in Southern California.

"The people we serve will benefit through long-term access to the outstanding Sharp facilities and care providers, and through the clarity we can offer through the rebranded Sharp SecureHorizons Plan," said Michael McCarthy, regional executive director of UnitedHealthcare Medicare Solutions in Southern California. "Through collaboration with such a trusted and highly regarded health care system over the next five years, we're confident we can provide our members with enhanced value and quality coverage."

The Sharp SecureHorizons Plan is UnitedHealthcare's only Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan with a $0 monthly premium in San Diego County in 2012. It offers predictable costs and financial protection through annual limits on out-of-pocket health expenses. Part D prescription drug coverage is included in the plan for no additional monthly premium beyond the Medicare Part B premium, and members can visit Sharp's physicians for low co-payments. The plan also features benefits not available through Original Medicare, such as coverage of routine vision and hearing care, and a gym membership though the SilverSneakers fitness program.

"Transforming the patient experience by providing high-quality, compassionate care has been our top priority, and over the past 10 years we have seen more San Diegans choose Sharp than any other health care provider," said Mike Murphy, president and CEO of Sharp HealthCare. "We're looking forward to continue serving UnitedHealthcare's members through this relationship and providing them with the care they want and deserve."

Sharp HealthCare will be the exclusive network care provider for beneficiaries who enroll in the Sharp SecureHorizons plan by UnitedHealthcare. Members will have access to comprehensive care available at Sharp's affiliated medical facilities and physician network in the greater San Diego area.

The full-service hospitals include Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Sharp Coronado Hospital, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, and Sharp Memorial Hospital. Members can access specialized care at three specialty hospitals and an outpatient center that are part of the Sharp Metropolitan Medical Campus: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, Sharp McDonald Center and Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion.

Sharp's physician network includes Sharp Community Medical Group and Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, totaling more than 1,100 physicians. Both groups have been awarded Elite Status, the highest possible designation for quality care given by the California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG) as part of its 2011 Standards of Excellence program.

Sharp Community Medical Group is an association of more than 200 primary and 500 specialty care doctors who practice independently in their own offices, conveniently located throughout San Diego County. In addition, Sharp Community patients have access to 17 urgent care centers throughout the county.

Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group is a multispecialty medical group with 400 physicians representing almost every medical specialty. Sharp Rees-Stealy patients receive most of the care they need — lab, radiology, physical therapy, pharmacy, urgent care and other services — at the physician's office. Additionally, Sharp Rees-Stealy offers patients a free, easy way to manage their health care online. With mySharp™, patients or their loved ones can email their physician's office, schedule appointments, view select lab results and more.

UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement is the nation's largest business dedicated to meeting the health and well being needs of seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries. Approximately 9 million members are enrolled in its portfolio of Medicare plans, which includes Medicare Advantage, Part D prescription drug and Medicare supplement plans. UnitedHealthcare has offered Medicare plans in California for more than two decades and currently serves more than 320,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the state, including more than 60,000 in San Diego County.

UnitedHealthcare will offer three additional Medicare Advantage plans in San Diego County marketed under the AARP MedicareComplete name. Beneficiaries who enroll in these plans will continue to have access to health care services at Sharp facilities.

Medicare beneficiaries living in San Diego County can enroll in the Sharp SecureHorizons Plan during the Annual Election Period (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7). For more information, visit www.UHCandSharp.com.

We hope you find this website helpful, but please remember that Sharp HealthCare does not control or endorse the information presented on this website, nor does this site endorse the information found on www.sharp.com.

Last Updated: January 9, 2012