Enrollment in Medicare Advantage continues to grow in the South though private-fee-for-service plans are leaving the market in anticipation of the Congressional mandate for network-based products in 2011. Louisiana and Alabama are already HMO-dominated markets, but it’s a different story in Georgia. Almost half of MA enrollees are in PFFS. Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana insurers are already feeling the impact of H1N1 flu-related claims, but this is not expected to peak until the fourth quarter. In Georgia, a 25-person steering committee is developing an innovative plan to cover a segment of the working uninsured that uses federally qualified health centers for primary care. In addition to the clinics, hospitals are on board, but negotiations with insurers are still under way. Also in Georgia, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia has introduced its Blue Essential limited-benefit plan to appeal to employers struggling to afford healthcare benefits.