North & South Carolina | Winter | 2009 | Health Plan Analysis

The recession is making a big impact on health plans in the Carolinas-commercial plans predict enrollment will drop in the coming months and Medicaid rolls already are increasing. Employers are changing benefits to make health coverage more affordable-drug copays are going up and health plans are moving more brand-name drugs to higher tiers and instituting more off cycle. In addition, medical tourism is getting a boost as more consumers and employers look for more affordable surgery options-BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina should see better-than-expected growth for its Companion Global subsidiary. Plus both states are considering wellness incentives during their legislative sessions-North Carolina could give incentives to state workers who don't smoke and maintain a healthy weight while South Carolina could pass a higher cigarette tax in order to fund tax credits for employers and fund more health programs in the state.