Los Angeles-Based HMO Announces Plans to Withdraw from CalPERS in 2003
Officials from Universal Care, a Los Angeles-based HMO, announced yesterday that the company will withdraw from CalPERS, effective January 1, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Fong, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/25). The move will affect more than 345,000 CalPERS members in Southern California covered by Universal Care (Orange County Register, 6/25). Universal Care the plans in protest of CalPERS' decision in April to drop contracts with Health Net and PacifiCare and shift the 350,000 members covered by the two health insurers to Blue Shield of California. Howard Davis, president of Universal Care, said, "It is our contention that the public is best served when they have a greater number of options for seeking high quality health care. We regret that we will not be able to continue serving the needs of CalPERS members." CalPERS spokesperson Clark McKinley did not comment on the decision. In 2003, CalPERS will offer members three HMO options through Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente and Western Health, although officials from Western Health have said that the company also may withdraw from the health system next year (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/25).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.