BLUE CROSS: Receives Special Healthy Families Status In Butte County
"[A] Blue Cross health plan has won favored status from the Healthy Families program" in the north valley, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. Three health plans -- Blue Cross' Exclusive Provider Organization, Health Net and California Advantage -- have been awarded contracts to participate in the new children's health insurance program in Butte County. However, only Blue Cross has been given "the preferred status of 'community provider plan.'" According to Peter Anderson of the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, the state agency that is running the Healthy Families program, the designation of community provider plan goes to one health plan in each county "whose networks included the highest percentage of doctors who have been caring for poor children." The purpose of the designation is to "help ensure that such doctors had the benefit of being included in the new program and that children of poor families could continue to see the doctors who had been caring for them." Families that use the community provider will save between $1 and $3 monthly on premiums "ranging from $7 to $27 per month, depending on their income and the number of children enrolled." Blue Cross has also received the community provider designation for its EPOs in Tehama, Glenn and Colusa counties. Blue Cross created the EPOs -- which have the same network of providers as the insurer's PPO but don't allow members to go outside the network -- specifically to participate in Healthy Families, according to a Blue Cross spokesperson (Mitchell, 6/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.