Health Net Announces Expansion of Plans Providing Coverage in Mexico, United States
Woodland Hills-based Health Net on Friday said it would expand its cross-border insurance plan, in which members are covered whether they seek medical care in the United States or Mexico, as part of an effort to target small and mid-sized Latino businesses in East Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports. Health Net will administer the program through a new partnership with AltaMed Health Services, which operates not-for-profit community health care clinics, and East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital. Health Net did not release information on premiums or coverage levels for the new plan.
Blue Shield of California in 2001 started a similar cross-border program, called Access Baja, which now has about 2,000 members.
Elise Anderson, a spokesperson for San Francisco-based Blue Shield, said Access Baja's enrollment "continues to build as more companies here search for the best coverage they can" find for employees who also want coverage for treatment in Mexico.
David Toung, an Argus Research analyst, said, "All these insurers want to expand their membership base, but the good pickings are gone. Now you're going to target people who are underinsured or uninsured." He added, "The trick for Health Net is to set premiums so they will make a profit" (Vrana, Los Angeles Times, 9/11).