Cuyahoga (Ohio) County has switched health insurance providers for its employees and has created a trio of big winners and an equal number of losers in the process.
The county has signed contracts with MetLife HealthCare of Northern Ohio, Prudential Health Plan of Northern Ohio and QualChoice. It will drop Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio, Kaiser Permanente and Personal Physician Care from its roster of providers.
The changes will be effective Jan. 1, 1995, and they will be costly for the insurers that are being dropped. The yearly contracts were valued at $16.5 million for the Blues and $8 million for Kaiser. The value of Personal Physician Care's contract wasn't available.
Jerome H. Gotthainer, president and chief executive officer of QualChoice, an insurance company owned by University Hospitals Health Systems in Cleveland, said the county's contract could be worth as much as $10 million to QualChoice in 1995. Mr. Gotthainer said it could boost the insurer's membership to at least 85,000 from the current 72,000.
The switch in insurance coverage was explained in a summary of the county's healthcare benefits package for 1995 given to its 8,700 employees this month.
According to David M. Sichko, the county's personnel administrator, the county expects to save $6 million during the next two years by offering HMO coverage through MetLife, Prudential and QualChoice. An additional PPO option will be offered by QualChoice.