Doctors' group to launch own health plan for staff

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Associated Press

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 12:00 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A doctors' practice based in Charleston County is launching its own, in-house insurance plan to reduce employees' health care costs.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports (http://bit.ly/17VBIsp ) that Palmetto Primary Care Physicians will offer the plan to its 600 employees next month.

The practice's CEO Jeff Lehrich says he decided to dump the practice's coverage through BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina because of rising rates.

Spokeswoman Vivian Barajas says the in-house plan is expected to be at least 55 percent cheaper than the insurer's equivalent.

A spokeswoman for BlueCross BlueShield says it's the most cost-efficient insurer in the state. Patti Embry-Tautenham questions how the physicians' group will achieve such savings.

Insurance rates are rising partly because of changes required by the federal health care overhaul taking effect in 2014.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com

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