SANTA ROSA -- Sutter Health and Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare have introduced a new Medicare Advantage plan from some 78,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Sonoma County, the two organizations announced this morning.

Sutter Health, which operates hospitals and outpatient facilities throughout the region, will be the exclusive network care provider for beneficiaries who enroll in the plan, AARP MedicareComplete, insured through UnitedHealthcare. Members will have access to care at Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa and Sutter's 600-plus physician network, Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods, as well as Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation's ancillary network and outpatient services. 

According to the two companies, Medicare beneficiaries who enroll in the new plan will be able to receive Part D prescription drug coverage at no additional monthly premium beyond the Medicare Part B premium; visit Sutter's primary care physicians and specialists; access Medicare-covered preventive care and screening exams for no co-pay; and add vision and dental coverage for an additional monthly premium. 

UnitedHealthcare has approximately 9 million members enrolled in Medicare plans. In California, it serves more than 320,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the state.

"We look forward to providing our members with enhanced value and quality coverage through this unique relationship with a health system as reputable as Sutter," said Josh Martin, executive director of United's Medicare & Retirement in Northern California.

Mike Cohill, CEO of Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation and Sutter Health senior vice president, said: "This is the latest example of our network's broad efforts to transform how we deliver our services, while ensuring that high-quality health care is both accessible and more affordable for our patients and communities."

Sonoma County Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in the AARP MedicareComplete plan during the annual election period of Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.

The AARP MedicareComplete plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare, which is division of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH). UnitedHealthcare contracts with more than 650,000 physicians and 5,000 hospitals nationwide.