HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of healthcare market intelligence, reports that Medicare plans will look toward private fee-for-service (PFFS) products and preferred provider organizations (PPOs) in the 2008 open enrollment period, looking to capitalize on new market dynamics. According to a new report entitled Medicare Outlook, Congressional scrutiny over the PFFS product and the stagnant enrollment trends at traditional HMOs means Medicare Advantage PPOs, special needs plans and medical savings accounts are likely to see growth in 2008.

"The Medicare Advantage market is one defined by diversity," states Roy Moore, market analyst for HealthLeaders-InterStudy and author of the report. "This diversity will continue as seniors choose the best plan for their respective geographic and financial situations."

Held back during the first two years of Part D by a federal moratorium, the local Medicare Advantage PPOs finally can expand this year. As the HMO product has been unable to generate any growth and the regional PPO has stagnated in the rural communities, the local PPO product appears to be the best bet for growth in the Medicare Advantage marketplace. The PPO provides seniors greater choice among providers, and still has a network that can implement utilization management and measure quality adherence among providers.

The Medicare medical savings account generated very little movement in its first year of operation in 2007, but many are interested to see how the market reacts to this consumer-directed product. The growth will mostly be focused on employers who offered health insurance benefits to their retirees. With the cost of retiree plans rising, employers may look at medical savings accounts as an effective way to move their retirees into a Medicare Advantage plan. Because these accounts are not required to have a network, they are also an attractive alternative for employers.

About Medicare Outlook

Medicare Outlook is a comprehensive report covering the dynamic managed care segment of Medicare. From analysis on the latest Medicare initiatives to organized Medicare enrollment data, Medicare Outlook offers organizations the information necessary in understanding developments from within the Medicare market.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

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  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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