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History

Introducing Iron Road Heathcare

September 16, 2019 — Tamara Castellano

In 1870, Union Pacific and other railroad companies recognized a need to treat sick and injured employees. From that need, railroad hospital associations were born. These associations flourished as the “iron road” crisscrossed the United States. At their peak, 35 different hospital associations served nearly 550,000 railroad employees with more than 3,700 hospital beds. These hospital associations were the forerunner of today’s health insurance plans. 

In 1947, the hospital associations separated from the railroads and became independent entities dedicated to providing coverage and healthcare for railroad employees.

The last 149 years have brought significant advancements in medicine and healthcare and have set the stage for today’s modern health plan. Union Pacific Railroad Employees Health Systems (UPREHS) or UP Health has been there every step of the way. 

The face of UP Health has evolved, but our commitment to you remains constant. Today, we are one of only five remaining hospital associations. We recognize the need to grow and change with the times and the industry so we can continue to provide you with health insurance coverage for the next 149 years.

With an eye on the future, we are excited to announce the face of UP Health will evolve once again in November with a new company name and logo.  We hope our new brand will honor the long history and contribution railroaders have made—and continue to make—since 1870.

Our nation has long depended on the railroads, and those who work them. It’s how we connected this great country from one end to the other — moving goods, materials, and our economy forward. Those who came before you paved the way, and you keep the tradition alive. They had a steadfast health partner, and you do too.

Introducing a new name for an old tradition — Iron Road Healthcare.

Written by

Tamara Castellano

14 Responses

  1. William Sessions
    September 16, 2019 at 10:58 am

    So I guess we will be getting new health insurance cards?

    1
    • Tamara Castellano
      September 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      Yes. We do new cards each year, so the cards for 2020 will include the new name.

  2. George Orr
    September 16, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    does it also mean a lot more benefits for those that are retired and their spouses such as dental and eyeglasses. Or are we still stuck out in the dark like mushrooms

    1
    • Tamara Castellano
      September 16, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      Our vision coverage is based on Medicare-approved changes and annual/routine eyeglasses are not covered by Medicare. We do cover eyeglasses if it’s related to cataract surgery. You can refer to our Evidence of Coverage (EOC) for detailed information or the Medicare & You handbook. Dental is also limited to certain medical-related conditions. That is also outlined in the EOC.

  3. George Orr
    September 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    with a new name should be lower cost on monthly premiums that we an afford and no copays on medications

    1
    • Tamara Castellano
      September 16, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      Thanks for your comment. We are not increasing premiums for 2020 and we did add new benefits to our Medicare plan. You should be receiving the 2020 Annual Notice of Change this week. That outlines the benefits that have been added for next year.

  4. Mary Ann
    September 16, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks for the “heads up” will look forward to more info. Will you be notifying all the Health Care Hospitals and doctors, or will we have to do it when we go in? Thanks for the wonderful coverage we have had all this time.

    1
  5. James Dirk Wolken
    September 16, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    I would also like to know about dental and eyeglasses.

    • Tamara Castellano
      September 16, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      Our vision coverage is based on Medicare-approved changes and annual/routine eyeglasses are not covered by Medicare. We do cover eyeglasses if it’s related to cataract surgery. You can refer to our Evidence of Coverage (EOC) for detailed information or the Medicare & You handbook. Dental is also limited to certain medical-related conditions. That is also outlined in the EOC.

  6. Deanna Trimmer Kennedy
    September 16, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks for the updated information and the history of UPREHS.

  7. George NcGill
    September 16, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Will stutter Gould in Stockton ca be included in this new coverage as it is not right now.

    • Tamara Castellano
      September 16, 2019 at 3:21 pm

      Hi. We are not changing networks…just our company name. We partner with BlueCross Blue Shield for non-Medicare plans. If they accept BCBS, they should be an in-network provider. It’s always best to check first. If you are a Medicare member and they accept Medicare, they should also be in-network. Again, it’s always best to double-check.

  8. Dale Styles
    September 16, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Who can I contact now to get new cards? The numbers and writing on mine is gone and impossible to read and they are requested each visit with most Dr’s locally. Can’t use web site, so would need to call for replacements. Thanks

  9. Travis Prothro
    September 16, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Tamara,
    Thanks for the updates and the new name!

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