HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that seniors in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. are seeing a bewildering variety of choices, both in Medicare Advantage and stand alone prescription drugs plans (PDPs). According to the latest issue of Mid-Atlantic Health Plan Analysis, most seniors are likely to remain in traditional fee-for-service plans, adding prescription drug coverage with a PDP.

"There's been a lot of hype about Medicare Advantage plans, but current seniors are used to fee-for-service plans," said Jan Shuxteau, HealthLeaders- InterStudy analyst. "They'll use the new stand-alone PDPs to fill in their drug coverage, but otherwise are unlikely to change. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expects to see Medicare Advantage membership to be 7 million by the end of 2006, climbing to 10 million by 2010. Meanwhile, fee- for-service with stand-alone PDPs will be 32.4 million in 2006, only dropping to 32.1 million by 2010, still two-thirds of the market. Change will be slow, and it won't be sped up by the variety of regional PPOs, local PPOs, HMOs, and other plans."

In Virginia, there are 10 Medicare Advantage options. In Maryland, there are five, and in the District, four. Aetna is offering a regional PPO in Maryland and the District, while Virginia will feature a regional PPO by Humana. Sixteen stand-alone prescription drug plans are being offered throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Four additional plans will be offered in Maryland and the District, while one additional plan will be sold in Virginia.

Other health plan news in the Mid-Atlantic region:

* Virginia has contracted with Doral Dental as the single dental benefit administrator for its Medicaid/CHIP program.

* Virginia-Beach-based Medicaid operator AMERIGROUP tied its surprising $2.3 million third quarter loss to high maternity costs.

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. (http://www.decisionresources.com/), 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:    Alex Jablokow    Decision Resources    781-296-2562    ajablokow@dresources.com 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2562,
ajablokow@dresources.com

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