HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that California's major health plans are offering a wide range of new options to compete for members in the state's expanding small-group market. The sector includes 1.2 million businesses, 500,000 of which don't provide medical coverage to employees, according to the latest California Health Plan Analysis.

"The health plans are taking a variety of tactics -- from offering many choices, like Health Net, to selling a simplified package, like Blue Cross of California," said John Leighty, California market analyst. "PacifiCare's small-group sales have jumped 140% since it introduced its SignatureFreedom self directed health plan in mid-2003. Clearly, all of the health plans see this as a hot market."

  Other Health Plan News in California:   * HMOs are introducing more flexible benefits and rate structures to     compete with less-regulated PPO designs.   * California HMOs reported healthy profits in 2004.   * PacifiCare Health Systems says it will participate in competitive     bidding to offer prescription drug plans to fee-for-service Medicare     members nationwide in 2006.    About HealthLeaders-InterStudy 

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a newly formed company of Decision Resources, Inc. (, is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit both Web sites at and

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Elizabeth Marshall    Decision Resources    781-296-2563 

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2563,

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