HEALTH NET: Restructures Seniority Plus Program
Health Net HMO has decided to "shift" its direction and "focus on marketing its Medicare plan to large groups -- usually employers' retirement programs -- and reduce its focus on selling its plan to individuals," the Los Angeles Times reports. Health Net's Seniority Plus plan is the state's third-largest Medicare HMO, but it "lags far behind the two biggest Medicare plans: PacifiCare Health System Inc.'s Secure Horizons," and Kaiser Permanente's Senior Advantage program. The company's move "amounts to a retreat from a business that is increasingly competitive in California and has not been as profitable as the company once hoped," observers say. The Times reports that with "about 40% of all Medicare beneficiaries in California already enrolled in HMOs ... some industry experts believe that the market is largely saturated," because "many of the people who find HMOs an attractive alternative -- often younger, healthier seniors -- have already joined one" (Olmos, 5/7).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.