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Credit rating agency upgrades UPMC Health Plan

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Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, 10:58 a.m.

Insurance company rating agency A.M. Best Co. Inc. has upgraded UPMC Health Plan, citing its strong membership and premium growth over several years.

Oldwick, N.J.-based A.M. Best said that the health insurance arm of hospital-and-physician network UPMC earned a financial strength rating of “A-,” which it considers “excellent” and is up from “B++,” which it considers “good.”

UPMC Health Plan also received a credit rating upgrade to “a-,” up from “bbb+,” A.M. Best said.

UPMC Health Plan is the second-largest health insurer in Western Pennsylvania, with about 1.8 million members. Highmark Inc. is the largest, with about 2 million members. UPMC is the largest health system in Western Pennsylvania, with 19 hospitals and more than 3,400 physicians.

While A.M. Best cited the financial strength of UPMC as a positive for its health insurance arm, the rating agency also said that it is “somewhat concerned” about UPMC Health Plan's reliance on loans from UPMC to maintain its capital levels.

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