March 28, 2012

Assurance Wireless and OmniCare Health Plan Partner in Michigan to Improve Communications for Medicaid Enrollees

New relationship will help Medicaid enrollees stay in contact with health care providers

WARREN, N.J. Mar. 21, 2012 Assurance Wireless and OmniCare Health Plan Inc. have partnered to spread awareness of Assurance Wireless, a federal Lifeline Assistance program to OmniCare’s 47,000 enrollees in Michigan. This partnership with Assurance Wireless, a cell phone service that provides a wireless phone and 250 free minutes of wireless voice service monthly to eligible low-incomecustomers, will allow OmniCare to strengthen channels of communication with its members to promote preventive health care and regular check-ups with their doctors. OmniCare Members will have unlimited access to their Primary Care Physician’s office and to the health plan via voice calls and text messaging without impacting their free minutes.
OmniCare Health Plan is committed to providing quality health care coverage to underserved Michigan residents and plans to promote the wireless service as a way for its customers to manage their health by being in direct contact with health care providers.
“Our members need to have access to their healthcare providers at all times. With this partnership, we can provide unlimited “free” calls to their primary care provider’s office and to our plan,” says Beverly Allen, CEO for OmniCare Health Plan. “This will eliminate one of the barriers our members experience in obtaining quality health care services.”
“Phone service is essential in nearly every household in the country and even more so when you factor in the need for emergency services,” said Gary Carter, manager for National Partnerships for Assurance Wireless. “This partnership will allow us to reach more Michigan residents who are eligible for our program while providing a means for OmniCare to promote better health care among its members.”
OmniCare offers innovative programs for Medicaid and MI Child eligible members in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kalamazoo, Hillsdale, Cass and St. Joseph counties. With more than 47,000 members and growing, a network of more than 2,600 doctors, 37 hospitals and 47 urgent care centers, OmniCare invests in its membership by engaging, educating and empowering beneficiaries to access appropriate medical care.
Assurance Wireless is currently available in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. This list of states continues to expand and can be found on the Assurance website www.AssuranceWireless.com.
In addition to a voice mail account[1] and call waiting, Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of emergency. Beyond the 250 free voice minutes each month, customers can choose from other options to pay for additional minutes, texting, international calling and more at competitive rates.
Eligibility for Assurance Wireless varies by state and may include those who participate in Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA or Section 8), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or the National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program. Customers may also qualify based on low household income on a state-by-state basis.
Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling (toll-free) 800-395-2171, or visiting www.assurancewireless.com
People who don’t quite qualify for Assurance Wireless but who are also struggling in the current economy to stay within a budget, can take advantage of payLo by Virgin Mobile. payLo was especially designed with value-conscious wireless consumers in mind, offering plans for as little as $20/month for 400 minutes or 90 days of service for $20 at a rate of less than $7 per month. payLo is available at more than 40,000 retail stores, including Best Buy, RadioShack and Target.
Prospective low-income customers who find they are not eligible for Assurance Wireless may learn more about payLo by visiting http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/paylo-plans.jsp#.
[1]Airtime charges apply when accessing voice mail via an Assurance Wireless phone once free minutes have been depleted.


Media Contacts:                               
Jack Pflanz                                                

Matthew Eyles      

About Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless, brought to you by Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint’s prepaid brands, is supported by the federal Lifeline Assistance program, part of the Low Income Program of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Assurance Wireless uses the Nationwide Sprint Network, which reaches more than 280 million people.
About OmniCare Health Plan
OmniCare Health Plan, A Coventry Health Care Plan, is a Medicaid health plan serving Wayne, Oakland, Kalamazoo, Cass and St. Joseph counties and a MI Child provider in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Cass, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties. To learn more about Omnicare Health Plan, visit its website www.OmniCarehealthplan.com or join them on Facebook.
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Note: Sources for all information and statistics are available upon request

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