Health systems partner with PHP to offer new Medicare plans

Published: September 29, 2021

LANSING, MI — Michigan Medicine and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, a member of Trinity Health, today announce a partnership with Lansing-based Physicians Health Plan (PHP) to bring a new choice in Medicare Advantage plans to Livingston and Washtenaw counties.

The plans will be marketed under the name U-M Health + St. Joe’s Advantage and are administered by PHP. U-M Health + St. Joe’s Advantage will be available to Medicare-eligible residents of those counties during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) beginning Oct. 15, 2021, for the 2022 calendar year.

“The partnership with PHP and the addition of this new Medicare Advantage plan represents an important next step in which we continue to improve access to high quality care in our communities,” said David Miller, M.D., M.P.H., President of University of Michigan Health, the clinical branch of Michigan Medicine.

“PHP brings a trusted and proven healthcare plan to our patient population. This plan enhances a care delivery model that uses the strengths of both Michigan Medicine and St. Joe’s to benefit patients.”

Members in the U-M Health + St. Joe’s Advantage plans will have access to a wide network of hospitals and providers, which includes all Michigan Medicine providers, hospitals and ambulatory facilities as well as IHA and HVPA primary and specialty care providers within Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.

“St. Joe’s mission is to improve the health of our communities. This Medicare plan with PHP and Michigan Medicine provides new opportunity to extend our mission and represents an extraordinary benefit to our local seniors,” Alonzo Lewis, President, St. Joe’s Ann Arbor and Livingston. “We look forward to working with our partners on this exciting new venture.”

“For nearly 40 years, PHP has served as a locally managed health plan delivering best-in-class customer service,” said Dennis Reese, President and Chief Executive Officer of PHP. “This new Medicare Advantage plan, with the support of our strategic health system partners, extends our personal care and service to southeastern Michigan, and gives seniors a new choice from trusted health systems, which now include Michigan Medicine and St. Joe’s."

For Michigan Medicine, the U-M Health + St. Joe’s Advantage represents the next step in the strategic partnership with PHP. In 2019, Michigan Medicine became a minority owner of PHP, and joined Lansing-based Sparrow Health System as the second health system owner. In 2020, Michigan Care, a PHP commercial health plan, was offered to University and Health System employees.

During the Medicare AEP starting Oct. 15, 2021, the U-M Health + St. Joe’s Advantage will be available in Livingston and Washtenaw counties. PHP also offers Sparrow Advantage in Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Montcalm, and Shiawassee counties; Covenant Advantage in Saginaw, Bay, and Tuscola counties; and PHP Advantage in Calhoun, Jackson, and Kalamazoo counties.

Eligible enrollees can begin to sign up for a plan offered in their area Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2021. Coverage for beneficiaries will begin Jan. 1, 2022.

For more information, contact:

Media contacts: 
Sparrow Health System/Physicians Health Plan
John Foren, Director, Media Relations 
517.364.8093 (desk) or 517.256.1743 (media pager)

Michigan Medicine
Mary Masson, Director, Public Relations

Trinity Health Michigan/Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Bobby Maldonado, Regional Communications and Public Relations Manager
248.725.2400 (pager) 


Founded in 1980 and based in Lansing, MI, Physicians Health Plan (PHP) is a nonprofit health plan company. We are a subsidiary of Sparrow Health System and Michigan Medicine, and enjoy a strong relationship with Covenant Healthcare. PHP provides individual, group, and Medicare coverage in Mid-, west, and southeast Michigan as well as the Saginaw Bay area. Our PHP Medicare plan was one of the fastest growing new Medicare Advantage plans in 2020. We serve more than 60,000 members and participate with more than 9,000 providers and 50+ hospitals. PHP’s mission is to improve the health status of its members by facilitating access to quality, compassionate, accessible and cost-effective health services through organized health delivery systems. For more information about Physicians Health Plan, visit

At Michigan Medicine, we advance health to serve Michigan and the world. We pursue excellence every day in our five hospitals, 125 clinics and home care operations that handle more than 2.3 million outpatient visits a year, as well as educate the next generation of physicians, health professionals and scientists in our U-M Medical School.

Michigan Medicine includes the top ranked U-M Medical School and University of Michigan Health, which includes the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, University Hospital, the Frankel Cardiovascular Center, Metro Health and the Rogel Cancer Center. The U-M Medical School is one of the nation's biomedical research powerhouses, with total research funding of more than $500 million.

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a health care organization serving seven counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Jackson, and Lenawee. It includes 548-bed St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, 497-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy Livonia, 66-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, and 133-bed St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea.  Combined, the five hospitals are licensed for 1,548 beds, have five outpatient health centers, six urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 15,300 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians.   SJMHS has annual operating revenues of about $2 billion and returns about $115 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs.