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Regence Group's Oregon and Washington Blue Plans Are Well Positioned for Success in Local Medicare Market
Date:7/29/2008

Medicare PPO Strategy Sets Regence Blue Plans in Oregon and Washington

Apart, According to a New Report from HealthLeaders-InterStudy

NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Regence BlueShield of Washington are well positioned to make a significant play in the Medicare market. According to the new report entitled Blue Profiler: Oregon & Washington -- The Regence Group, both plans focus primarily on Medicare PPO offerings, while their competition has traditionally offered HMO and private fee-for-service options.

"Until earlier this year, Regence of Oregon offered a Medicare HMO product, but it is now focusing exclusively on the PPO offering in the Medicare market," said Ric Gross, market analyst at HealthLeaders-InterStudy and author of the report. "As commercial HMOs in the region are declining, it makes sense that Regence would explore this PPO strategy. Regence is in good position to be a choice for seniors looking for private Medicare products because the structure of its Medicare PPO plans is similar to employee-sponsored coverage they may have previously received."

According to the report, Regence is now the second largest local Medicare PPO vendor nationwide with more than 85,000 members. The local PPO offers operators flexibility as they do not have to offer the plan to seniors throughout an entire region, but instead, can determine in which counties the option will be available. In Washington, for example, Regence offers the Medicare PPO in 18 counties across the state.

Blue Profiler: Oregon & Washington -- The Regence Group examines the company's operations in both Oregon and Washington. It is one of 15 Blue Profiler reports for 2008 covering the nation's largest nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, which together insure more than 50 million people.

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SOURCE HealthLeaders-InterStudy
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