NU Online News Service, Nov. 8, 11:58 a.m. – Definity Health, Minneapolis, will be marketing its defined contribution health plan program through the Pacific Business Group on Health, San Francisco.

The Pacific Business Group is a health coverage purchasing coalition that represents 44 large employers. Most of the employers offer employees a choice of several different plans.

The Definity program gives employees detailed directories of hospitals and doctors, to help them shop for care. The program also gives an employer the ability to contribute a fixed amount of cash for health benefits for each employee.

Employees can use the cash in their “personal care accounts” to handle routine medical expenses.

Employers protect employees against the cost of catastrophic illnesses and injuries by purchasing traditional insurance policies with high deductibles.

Definity may begin enrolling some Pacific Business Group employers in 2002, but the group says it expects most member-employers to begin offering the program in 2003.