By 1995, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are projected to account for 75% of the health care market. In response to this trend, pharmaceutical firms are adjusting their business and marketing practices.
The State Health Plan Purchasing Alliance (SHPPA) applies the old idea of the food co-op to health insurance. By banding together, small businesses (in this case, two to forty-nine employees) hope to save money on health insurance.
The North Carolina League of Municipalities created the Risk Management Services (RMS) program as a health care option for cities and towns. The program's success allowed it to roll back and/or maintain rates and to return $2 million to cities and towns
With the cost of health care on the rise, many large and small companies in the state are focusing on wellness and prevention programs. This approach not only helps keep health costs down, but also increases worker productivity.
The takeover by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina of Durham-based Caring Program for Children concerns health-care advocates who fear loss of financial support for its program to insure children of middle-class families.
Employers having difficulty deciding on a health care plan will have even more choices in the years ahead, as the state is glutted with managed care companies. In 1996, 22 are in operation, with 14 others planning entry applications.
Fourteen percent of the state's population, or 950,000 people, were without full-year health insurance coverage in 1993. Of those covered, 71 percent had private health insurance and 28 percent government health insurance.