HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care and healthcare industry intelligence, reports the Medicare market in Iowa is growing more competitive with the addition of six new providers for 2007. According to the first release of the Iowa Health Plan Analysis report, Iowa's initial enrollment in Medicare Part D plans was strong and Iowans have proved to be loyal to their home-grown brands.

"While giants United Healthcare and Humana have performed well nationwide, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has 38 percent of the Iowa stand-alone Medicare Part D business," states Lori Anne Parker, HealthLeaders-InterStudy market analyst.

Wellmark's success can be contributed to their network, longevity, and name recognition in the marketplace. Their Medicare product offerings include five MedicareBlue PPO Medicare Advantage plans, and three stand-alone MedicareBlue Rx prescription drug plans. The insurer also sells five Medicare Supplement plans marketed under the name Senior Blue. The biggest group of enrollees were in Part D standalones, with 45 percent of Iowans receiving coverage this way, compared with 24 percent across the country.

In 2007, Iowa's market will grow from 17 Medicare prescription drug plans to 22 with the addition of Health Net, HealthSpring Prescription Drug Plan, NMHC Group Solutions, EnvisionRx Plus, First Health Part D and SAMAscript, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

  Other news in the Iowa market:   * University of Iowa Health Plans has extended its Generics Free program     through the end of 2007 after launching the program January 1, 2006 and     realizing cost savings of more than $1.4 million in the first six months     of the program.   * In a state dominated by small business, retail-based health clinics are     popping up in the state, offering pre-paid cards that can be purchased     by employers for workers.    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. Iowa is a newly covered state for HealthLeaders-InterStudy's Health Plan Analysis.

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

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 

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SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Kelly Morphy of HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-615-369-4818,

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