HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that several local Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans are among winners in Medicare Part D enrollment. Much of the attention has been on the Medicare plans of the big national insurers, but some Blues have leveraged their name recognition into significant state-level dominance in Medicare.

Data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 27 showed that Blue Cross plans in Michigan, Minnesota and New Jersey enrolled more Medicare members in stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) than did national insurers UnitedHealthcare and Humana Inc. in their respective states.

"For example, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota had an astounding PDP market share of 48 percent, or 110,500 members, handily beating its closest competitor in that state," said Paula DeWitt, HealthLeaders-InterStudy senior analyst. "Blues plans have a well-regarded brand, and most have large Medicare supplement memberships. This affluent population of seniors is already paying relatively steep premiums to cover gaps in their Medicare coverage, so they are a natural market for Part D membership as well." Humana captured 17 percent of the Minnesota stand-alone market, while UnitedHealthcare got eight percent.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan captured some 150,000 stand-alone members, ranking it as the 19th-largest stand-alone Part D plan in the nation, according to CMS.

The Medicare Part D benefit has attracted 13.9 million seniors to stand-alone drug plans. Nationally, UnitedHealth Group (including UnitedHealthcare and PacifiCare) had the greatest stand-alone Part D membership with almost 3.8 million enrollees and a market share of 27 percent. In second place was Humana with over 2.4 million enrollees and a market share of 18 percent.

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  For more information, contact:    Alex Jablokow    Decision Resources, Inc.    781-296-2563 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, Inc., +1-781-296-2563,

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