HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that South Carolina has more Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs) than Florida, even though Florida has a senior population five times as big. According to the latest issue of North & South Carolina Health Plan Analysis from HealthLeaders-InterStudy, 19 companies are selling stand-alone products in the state, and offering 45 different plan designs.

"Seniors in South Carolina will have to be balancing dozens of different factors when looking at a prescription drug plan," said Jane DuBose, HealthLeaders-InterStudy healthcare analyst. "They'll have to look at deductible amounts, mail-order availability, number of formulary drugs, premium cost, and the balance between brand name and generic drugs, and then make an informed decision, all while a lot of advertising and marketing is being aimed at them."

South Carolina's health care market has been relatively quiescent in recent years. This vast range of plans, some with aggressive and potentially risky strategies, will result in vastly increased competition. "Look for fewer players in a year," said DuBose.

  Other health plan news in North and South Carolina:    * HMO and point-of-service plans in North Carolina dipped to historical     lows in 2005, with just 16.5 percent of the commercial market enrolled     in those products.   * BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina's HMO subsidiary, BlueChoice, has     increased its membership by 37 percent over three years.   * FirstCarolinaCare, the smallest independent HMO in North Carolina, along     with its hospital system parent and its local chamber of commerce, is     developing a suite of low-cost health insurance products designed to     cover currently uninsured workers.    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/. Health Plan Analysis identifies key health plan trends, allowing healthcare businesses to create comprehensive strategic plans and sales strategies at state and local levels

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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