HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that while many insurers will be offering prescription drug plans (PDPs) to Kansas and Missouri seniors, only Humana will be offering a regional PPO in the two Medicare Advantage regions that include Kansas and Missouri. According to the latest issue of Kansas & Missouri Health Plan Analysis from HealthLeaders- InterStudy, Humana will be offering the lowest-cost PDP, with a premium of less than $20.

"Surprisingly few plans have bid for regional Medicare Advantage PPOs," said Rick Byrne, HealthLeaders-InterStudy analyst. "Just five of the 26 regions nationally have more than one plan to serve them, and another five have none at all. By contrast, the competition between the PDPs is going to be remarkable."

Humana's Medicare PPO product will be offered to all recipients in both states, but will face some competition from local Medicare PPOs that have been launched since 2003. Coventry Health Care operates one in Kansas City and another in St. Louis under its Group Health Plan label. UnitedHealthcare operates two, one in the St. Louis area and one in Wichita.

  Other health plan news in Kansas and Missouri:   * HMO membership in Missouri continued to drop in 2004, with more people     moving to high-deductible PPO products.   * Both Kansas and Missouri accepted over 400 hurricane refugees into their     Medicaid systems.   * The Missouri Association of Health Plans faces the loss of two of its     largest members.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri and United     Healthcare will drop out of the association of HMO insurers at the end     of the year.    About HealthLeaders-InterStudy 

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a company of Decision Resources, Inc. (http://www.decisionresources.com/), is the authoritative source for managed care data and analysis. For more information, please visit http://www.healthleaders-interstudy.com/. Health Plan Analysis identifies key health plan trends, allowing healthcare businesses to create comprehensive strategic plans and sales strategies at state and local levels

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

   For more information, contact:     Alex Jablokow    Decision Resources    781-296-2562    ajablokow@dresources.com 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2562,
ajablokow@dresources.com

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