Thursday, March 29, 2001

Insurers pushed for coverage in rural areas

The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT — The state is trying to entice health-insurance companies to offer coverage to public employees and retirees in counties where there is little choice of coverage.

        Under the state insurance contracts now being bid, the Personnel Cabinet is offering bonus points to companies that offer coverage in counties with few choices. The bonus points can raise a company's score when the state awards contracts to offer coverage in plum areas, such as Fayette and Jefferson counties.

        Personnel Secretary Carol Palmore said there are 19 counties where public employees had only one company offering coverage and offered only one kind of coverage, such as an HMO. Forty-seven other counties had only two companies offering coverage.

        Larger counties, such as Boyd and Daviess, along with many smaller counties have such limited choices.

        The state seeks to offer three companies in each county, Ms. Palmore said.


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