Southeast | Fall | 2010 | Health Plan Analysis

The only plans in the South seeing significant enrollment growth are Medicaid and Medicare plans. Congress' approval of another FMAP extension is enabling states to avoid deep Medicaid cuts for now. Most of the major carriers for Medicare Advantage are keeping rates flat for 2011 in the South. In the South, at least 27,000 seniors will shift to different Medicare coverage in 2011 as their current MA plans exit the market. HealthSpring, which offers MA and Part D prescription drug plans, will move up to ninth in size among Medicare plans next year with its purchase of Bravo Health. In the commercial market, employers have largely abandoned ideas of grandfathering their existing plans, realizing that it is no advantage to them to wait three years to make changes just to stay grandfathered. Some health plans are offering narrow provider networks to keep down costs, and others are pushing wellness programs to keep customers healthy. CDHPs continue to rise in popularity. While pharmacy cost trends have been flat nationwide, they have gone up in Georgia among HMOs, mainly because they were low to begin with. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has begun a major pharmacy adherence initiative aimed at keeping all of its 1.2 million commercial members on their maintenace prescription drugs.