HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that San Antonio-area health plans are focusing on developing innovative plan designs for the individual healthcare coverage market. According to the latest issue of the San Antonio Market Overview, health plans hope to offer affordable and profitable plans to the growing population of working uninsured in the area.

"The San Antonio area has a significant uninsured rate of 20 percent," said Patrick Powers, HealthLeaders-InterStudy senior analyst. "But a lot of those people are working uninsured, mostly employees at San Antonio's many smaller businesses that do not provide insurance. Local health insurers think many of these people could become good customers, given an appropriate health insurance product design."

For example, Humana Health Plan of Texas introduced a consumer-choice health insurance product called SmartExpress, which is aimed at the small- to medium-sized market for employers in Texas of 300 or fewer workers.

Another recent initiative is PacifiCare's introduction of the Signature Freedom Self Directed Plan, which couples a high-deductible PPO product with what it calls a "self-directed" account, or SDA. The SDA is similar to a health reimbursement arrangement, except that it is tied to the product and is not separately funded by the employer or employee.

Other news about the San Antonio healthcare market:

An extended federal moratorium on the construction of physician-owned specialty hospitals is affecting San Antonio-area physicians. Until the ban is lifted, Texas Heart Hospital physicians can't expand the cardiac facility to its full bed capacity, and a five-physician bariatric group is blocked from investing in a new hospital scheduled to open in October 2006.

Humana, partnered with Virgin Life Care, is piloting HealthMiles in San Antonio, a program to motivate members to healthy activities by allowing them to earn redeemable points for fitness.

About Market Overviews

Market Overviews provides a detailed analysis of local healthcare markets, allowing healthcare businesses to plan their local strategies.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

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

   For more information, contact:    Alex Jablokow    Decision Resources    781-296-2562  

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SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2562,

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