HEALTH NET: Unveils Direct Access Program
Health Net, one of the state's largest network-model HMOs, announced today a new plan which gives its members direct access to any specialist belonging to the HMO's network of 40,000 physicians. Under the program, called ELECT Open Access, members can see any specialist in the network for a $30 copay. This fee includes consultation, evaluation and treatment during the office visit. The program is similar to an HMO, in that a member will choose a participating physician group and a primary care doctor. When an ELECT member chooses to visit their primary care doctor, they will pay a typical HMO copay (that varies by plan selection). The program will not restrict members to a choice of specialists within their own physician group and will not limit the number of specialist visits per year. Health Net will begin offering ELECT to employers this month, and members can be eligible by Jan. 1. Health Net Senior Vice President Michael Close said, "ELECT Open Access will set a new standard among direct access offerings by health plans. Today's marketplace demands innovative, forward-thinking products while meeting the needs of our members" (release, 10/6).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.