Senate Committee Okays New Managed Care Health Plan

FEBRUARY 3, 2005 - Posted at 7:44 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A Senate committee has okayed legislation that lets Arkansans covered by managed care insurance plans see the doctor of their choice.  The bill bars health insurers from discriminating against any provider within the plan's geographical coverage who is willing to meet the terms and conditions for participation.

The proposal would include the state Medicaid program and Medicaid partnerships.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is appealing a judge's ruling last year that, if allowed to stand, would lift a nearly ten-year-old injunction on the state's so-called "any willing provider" law passed in 1995.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)