North & South Carolina | Summer | 2008 | Health Plan Analysis

More than 37 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries in South Carolina who could join a managed care plan in the state's Healthy Connections program have done so by August of 2008. Eight health plans are enrolling members, but the competition has not diminished the growth of First Choice, the senior member of the Medicaid managed care club in the state, which has grown to 110,000 members, a nearly 47 percent increase since mid 2007. In two unrelated developments on the pharmacy front, South Carolina's Medicaid agency is sending out pharmacists to physicians to promote the use of generics, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is upping the ante on electronic prescribing by offering a free Web site where physicians can access software for e-prescribing. Meanwhile, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina has launched a new product line geared to small businesses that include some options with increased pharmacy controls. The North Carolina State Health Plan is trying to work through a budget shortfall with cuts to some programs but is holding off on premium increases for now.