HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care and healthcare industry intelligence, reports major marketing efforts are being stepped up by Michigan's top insurers for the individual health plan market. According to the latest Michigan Health Plan Analysis, with automaker layoffs, buyouts and early retirement, part-time workers and entrepreneurs, a number of Michigan residents are in search of affordable, flexible insurance products.

"As fewer employers offer healthcare coverage, Michigan insurers have spied an opportunity," says Rick Byrne, HealthLeaders-InterStudy research analyst. "In recent months, some of the state's top firms have either launched new individual health plans, or renewed marketing efforts for existing ones."

Even though about 77 percent of Michiganders receive health coverage at work, a number of companies in the region have been dropping health coverage. The Big Three automakers and their suppliers have been trying to shed themselves of healthcare costs in a number of different ways. As a result, many people in Michigan, as well as Indiana, Ohio and some other states, went shopping for individual health coverage for the first time.

Major players to tap into this market include Health Alliance Plan with its first individual health plan, called SOLO; Aetna, which jump-started its Michigan presence with the acquisition late last year of PPOM and has made a pitch for individual business in the state; and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the state's largest insurer, promoting its Individual Care Blue product with a new ad campaign.

  Other news in the Michigan market:   * Gov. Granholm's Michigan First! Health Plan, an expansion of     state-backed programs that the governor hopes will cut the ranks of the     uninsured by half and will require leveraging $600 million from the     federal government.   * Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's Blue Care Network has begun selling     a new health plan that will save employers and employees on premium     contributions if the employees submit to wellness improvement measures.    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., 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:   Kelly Morphy   HealthLeaders-InterStudy   615-369-4818   kmorphy@healthleaders-interstudy.com 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Kelly Morphy of HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-615-369-4818,
kmorphy@healthleaders-interstudy.com

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