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HEALTH ALLIANCE PLAN ANNOUNCES NEW PRODUCT

 DETROIT, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Health Alliance Plan announces the availability of its newest product, HealthChoice, which has been selectively marketed since September 1992.
 "HAP has made a commitment to remain the leading managed care organization within southeastern Michigan; we are no longer strictly an HMO company," said John F. Breitmeyer, vice president of marketing.
 "We're excited about several new product initiatives such as HealthChoice, which are targeted toward employer groups looking for a managed care alternative," said Breitmeyer. "HealthChoice is a logical extension of our product offerings in that it takes advantage of our 30-year managed care expertise, comprehensive utilization and network management, and highly regarded hospitals and doctors."
 HealthChoice differs from competitive plans in that no other program offers employer groups the flexibility of customized benefit designs, alternative financing and multiple delivery options. HealthChoice consists of a staff model HMO-type program, a preferred provider organization (PPO) and a point-of-service plan (POS), soon to be introduced.
 The HealthChoice program can be set up as a cafeteria-style benefit plan that allows employees to choose the coverage best suited to their needs. For example, a company may now purchase one product that has several delivery options such as both an HMO and a PPO. Or an employer might choose to offer only the PPO or POS option.
 Most HMOs are typically an option within employer groups as opposed to the companies' base plan. Employers tend to consider their indemnity or self-funded program as their primary benefit option because these programs allow their employees the freedom of choice in selecting a provider. HealthChoice has responded by providing greater cost savings than indemnity plans and more flexibility than traditional HMOs. Under HealthChoice, the employer group can consolidate their health care benefit program into one comprehensive plan. The advantages of this include common administration between multiple options, a consolidation of the "risk pool" which eliminates adverse selection, and coordinated medical cost and utilization reporting for the various options.
 The participating network of Southeast Michigan physicians and hospitals includes: Henry Ford Medical Centers and Metro Medical Group Centers; Botsford General Hospital, Cottage Hospital of Grosse Pointe, Crittenton Hospital, Garden City Osteopathic Hospital, Henry Ford Hospital, Lapeer Regional Hospital, MPHO-St. Joseph Mercy Hospital (Pontiac), Providence Hospital, River District Hospital, St. Joseph's Mercy of Macomb Hospitals, St. Mary Hospital, and Wyandotte Hospital and Medical Center.
 HAP will coordinate the HealthChoice provider network, utilization management, marketing and provider relations activities through its corporate subsidiary, Preferred Health Plan.
 First Health, a national Salt Lake City-based third party administrator (TPA), is currently processing claims for HealthChoice through its local Southfield office. Preferred Health Plan, a wholly owned subsidiary of HAP, is also a licensed TPA for HealthChoice.
 "HAP is not a new player in the race to develop alternative products," said Breitmeyer. "HAP's foray into product diversification began in 1986 with the introduction of its fully insured PPO, HAP Choice."
 Health Alliance Plan's alternative (non-HMO) product offerings currently have approximately 14,000 members. The development of additional managed care products is one way that HAP is addressing customer requests for innovative health care programs aimed at controlling overall health care expenditures.
 HAP will continue to offer additional customized products, including preferred provider, exclusive provider, selective contracting, fully insured and self-funded arrangements such as HealthChoice to complement its standard HMO product.
 -0- 4/13/93
 /CONTACT: Susan Schwandt of HAP, 313-552-6076 or (pager) 313-405-0709/


CO: Health Alliance Plan ST: Michigan IN: HEA INS SU: PDT

SB-ML -- DE021 -- 5289 04/13/93 14:27 EDT
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Date:Apr 13, 1993
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