Georgia, Alabama & Louisiana | Summer | 2008 | Health Plan Analysis

Hurricane Katrina may have shaken up the hospital and physician supply in New Orleans in 2005, but the disaster has not had a long-term negative effect on health plans in the region. Health plans have recovered most, if not all, of their covered lives as they capture business from different industries, such as construction. In Georgia, changes in the State Health Benefit Plan will shake up the insurance market, with Kaiser Permanente and Blue Cross Blue Shield in Georgia losing contracts with the state. Meanwhile, in Alabama, the agency that administers health insurance for more than 400,000 employees, retirees and teachers is considering extending a wellness program with a focus on obesity management. Alabama also has a new law that provides a tax break to small businesses that purchase health insurance. In the Medicare market, insurers who participate in Medicare Advantage in the New Orleans are among the big winners for rate increases from the federal government for 2009. Doctors in all three states are part of a demonstration project from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to move them toward electronic health records for Medicare patients. Finally, Humana is launching a medical home model in Atlanta in conjunction with WellStar Health System.