Tenet May Opt Out of Insurance Business, Forcing 27,000 National Health Plans Members to Switch Coverage
Nearly 27,000 National Health Plans members, many of whom live in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, will likely have to switch insurers next year because Tenet Healthcare Corp. -- National's parent company -- has said it wants to leave the health insurance business effective Jan. 1, the Modesto Bee reports. Tenet has said it wants to concentrate on running its 111 hospitals. Modesto-based National Health Plans has named Aetna U.S. Healthcare its "preferred replacement" because the two insurers have many of the same physicians in their networks. National would "recommend" Aetna to businesses that currently offer National plans to their employees, but employers would not be required to choose Aetna. Because Aetna will not cover the 9,400 seniors enrolled in National Health Plans' Medicare+Choice program, SecurityCare, National is looking for another insurer. Tenet's plan to stop operating National must be approved by the Department of Managed Health Care. National spokesperson Gary Hopkins said that he expects the department to make a decision before November, when most employers hold an open enrollment period for employees to select a health plan for the following year (McCray, Modesto Bee, 6/19).