HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that Michigan commercial HMOs showed only minor decline in membership over 2004. According to the latest issue of Michigan Health Plan Analysis from HealthLeaders- InterStudy, long-term contracts between unionized labor and management in the automobile industry helps maintain HMO market share.

"There's not a lot of incentive to hurry new products to market where such long-term labor contracts are the rule," said Rick Byrne, HealthLeaders- InterStudy analyst. "And those contracts affect all companies that deal with the Big Three, as well as the companies' own unions. Even Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has about 3,000 of its clerical staff represented by the UAW, and had to face a walkout threat earlier this year. You aren't going to be seeing broad acceptance of such innovations as consumer-directed plans any time soon."

Given the state's faltering economy, it is not surprising that the major membership growth has been in Medicaid managed care plans. Molina Healthcare of Michigan gained 75,000 members to become Michigan's largest Medicaid HMO.

  Other health plan news in Michigan:   * Health plans look to offer more-flexible products to affected workers     and retirees as GM and Delphi slash their healthcare benefits.   * Eighteen companies have entered the Michigan Medicare market with stand-     alone prescription drug plans.   * Washtenaw County will offer a new "three-share" health plan aimed at the     working uninsured.    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.

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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