HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that large insurers were able to regroup quickly and maintain operations in the wake of hurricanes Rita and Katrina. According to the latest issue of Georgia, Alabama & Louisiana Health Plan Analysis, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and Coventry Healthcare, three of the four largest health plans in Louisiana, are part of national, publicly held companies with income statements that will show only slight depressions because of the disaster, while the fourth, and largest, health plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, has a $400 million surplus to cover catastrophic losses.

"In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, health plans stepped up to help their members and employees, supplying essential services that will end up costing them millions," said Jan Shuxteau, HealthLeaders-InterStudy analyst. "They paid for members' care outside their local networks, absorbed missed premium payments and reimbursed members for prescription drugs beyond the normal rules. They assisted thousands of their own employees."

The biggest issue confronting all of Louisiana's health plans now is rebuilding their provider networks. Most hospitals in the flood area have still not reopened. Healthcare professionals evacuated along with the rest of the population. These professionals are easily employable elsewhere, and chances are that some number of them may not return, and others will wait a significant period. When they do return, referral patterns, facilities, and support functions will all be disrupted.

  Other health plan news in Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana:   * HMO premium increases have moderated in Georgia and Alabama.   * Kaiser Permanente of Georgia has significantly expanded its PPO provider     network through Private Healthcare Systems.    About Health Plan Analysis 

Health Plan Analysis identifies key health plan trends, allowing healthcare businesses to create comprehensive strategic plans and sales strategies at state and local levels. Louisiana has just been added to states with full analysis.

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/.

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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