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November 10, 2011

Pitt Benefits

FitnessForLifeWalgreens and Express Scripts Contract

Walgreens and Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) have been unable to reach an agreement on a contract that would have become effective in 2012. ESI is the pharmacy benefit manager for UPMC Health Plan.

Effective January 1, 2012, Walgreens no longer will be in the UPMC Health Plan pharmacy network.

Members who currently obtain their prescriptions through Walgreens will receive written notification in November from UPMC Health Plan. The UPMC Health Plan network can be found on the web site using the address below:

UPMC Health Plan’s prescription plan offers access to a network of more than 30,000 pharmacies, including CVS, Giant Eagle, Kmart, Rite Aid, Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Wegmans (Erie locations), as well as hundreds of independent pharmacies.

Other options include Student Health Service Pharmacy and Falk Pharmacy, conveniently located on the Oakland campus. Both pharmacies can fill both short-term or maintenance medications (ongoing 90-day supplies).

New prescriptions can be taken directly to the new pharmacy.

If you have refills remaining, you may transfer your prescriptions to a new network pharmacy by doing one of the following:

• Take your prescription bottle to your new pharmacy; they will contact your old pharmacy to transfer your prescription.

• Ask the new pharmacy to call your old pharmacy to transfer your prescription(s).

• Call your doctor and ask for a new prescription(s), which you can provide to your new pharmacy.

UPMC Health Plan’s member advocates are available to assist members with locating a participating pharmacy and can answer any questions they may have. Call: UPMC Health Plan Member Services: 1-888–499-6885.

Flexible Spending Account Deadlines

Since the flexible spending account card was incorporated into the UPMC Health Plan Membership card, claims processed electronically have increased from 60% to over 90%. For members, this new tool has allowed for instant access to their funds and the ability to use their existing balances more effectively.

However, if you still have an account balance for the 2011 benefit plan year which ran from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011:

The claim submission deadline for Health Care and Dependent Care expenses is December 31, 2011.

Claims that may still be filed against your 2011 benefit plan year include:

Dependent day care expenses incurred between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011.

Health care related expenses incurred between July 1, 2010, and September 15, 2011.

File your claims now to avoid the loss of any funds remaining in your account!

The Benefits Department, in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code, will not grant extensions for any Plan Year 2011 Health Care and/or Dependent Care claims submitted after December 31, 2011.

You can access your MyFlex Advantage account to view your most up-to-date balances and detailed activity. Follow these steps:

1. Log in to

2. Select the Access MyFlex Advantage (FSA) tab located under “Manage Your Health Care Spending.”

You can view your claims history, submit claims online, and obtain claim forms just by accessing your MyFlex Advantage account online.

If you have any questions about MyFlex Advantage, contact UPMC Health Plan at 1-888-499-6885.

Thursday, November 17 is the Great American Smokeout Day

The American Cancer Society is marking the 36th Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 17, by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By doing so, smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life, one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, yet more than 46 million Americans still smoke. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year.

Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. The University of Pittsburgh’s health insurance plans include smoking cessation prescription medications as part of their drug coverage. Counseling is a key component that is available in many convenient forms, including by telephone. Upon completion of the Health Plan’s counseling, you may receive reimbursement for the co-payment associated with the prescription.

The time to quit is now! There are many incentives to do so. Speak with your physician and call the Health Coach Referral Line at UPMC Health Plan at: 1-800-807-0751.

When smokers quit, what are the benefits over time?

20 minutes after quitting

Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

(Effect of smoking on arterial stiffness and pulse pressure amplification, Mahmud A., Feely J. 2003. Hypertension: 41:183)

12 hours after quitting

The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

(U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, 1988, p. 202)

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting

Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

(U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp.193, 194, 196, 285, 323)

1 – 9 months after quitting

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

(U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. 285-287, 304)

1 year after quitting

The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.

(U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, 2010, p. 359)

5 years after quitting

Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.

(A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease — The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease Fact Sheet, 2010; Tobacco Control: Reversal of Risk After Quitting Smoking. IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 11, 2007, p. 341)

10 years after quitting

The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decreases.

(A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease — The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease Fact Sheet, 2010; and U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. vi, 155, 165)




UPMC Health Plan

1-888-499-6885  •


United Concordia

1-877-215-3616   •


Davis Vision

1-800-999-5431 •



1-800-682-9139    •


1-800-523-1188    •

Flexible Spending Accounts







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