The skinny on 'narrow networks'

Health Net of Arizona is joining with Banner Health to offer a new type of HMO plan. In other news, Health News Florida reports on WellCare and Humana's profits.

Arizona Republic: Health Net Set To Offer Discounted Insurance
Health Net of Arizona is teaming with Banner Health to offer a new health-maintenance-organization insurance plan that allows businesses and their workers access to discounted care if they agree to limit their network of health providers. ... Although it's Health Net's initial foray into "narrow networks" in Arizona, the health insurer said that it has had success enticing both large and small employers in California to choose similar plans with slimmed-down networks (Alltucker, 11/3).

Health News Florida: WellCare, Humana Riding High
WellCare Health Plans, based in Tampa, announced today that its net income for the third quarter doubled to over $88 million, based largely on profits from its Medicare prescription drug plan. ... On Monday, Humana Inc. announced profits were up 13 percent, based largely on its popular Medicare Advantage plans (11/2).

Meanwhile, employers grapple with higher costs.

NPR Shots Blog: Rising Health Costs Lead Companies To Drop Part-Time Benefits
Wal-Mart's recent decision to cut benefits for new, part-time employees may be part of a trend, as companies grapple with higher health costs (Husted, 11/2).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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