UPMC Health Plan opens 6 mall kiosks to educate and sell coverage

UPMC Health Plan has opened a half dozen information and sales kiosks in shopping malls, two months before Pennsylvania’s online health insurance marketplace is scheduled to go live.

The connection is not coincidental, according to President and CEO Diane Holder, who said she expects the kiosks will provide as much consumer information about health care reform’s centerpiece insurance exchanges as UPMC’s health insurance products. The health plan’s outreach comes three years after Highmark Inc. turned health insurance into a retail experience with storefronts and agents at local malls.

The UPMC kiosks are in South Hills Village, Monroeville Mall, Ross Park Mall, Century III Mall, and The Mall at Robinson plus Millcreek Mall in Erie.

Both insurers are also putting staff in vans and other vehicles to take their pitch directly to consumers as the federal government ramps up its own public education push. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Deputy Regional Administrator Roseanne Egan was scheduled for six meetings with three groups in Pittsburgh this week to tout insurance exchanges, including one held Tuesday at Duquesne University.

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