Managed Care Business Briefs Michigan Blues adds Medicare risk product

Blue Care Network of Southeast Michigan, an HMO affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, is the latest Blues plan to begin marketing a Medicare risk product. Twenty-six Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans offered a Medicare risk product as of year-end 1996 (the latest numbers available), a number the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association says should increase in 1997. "It’s a new line of business that offers great opportunity because of the aging of the population and the greater anticipated acceptance of Medicare risk among seniors," saysTracy Noe, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association spokeswoman. Industry organizations, such as the American Association of Health Plans, predict that although only 12% of Medicare beneficiaries are currently enrolled in Medicare HMOs, this number should grow substantially during the next five years.