NU Online News Service, Sept. 9, 3:33 p.m. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Jacksonville, Fla., says its Health Options subsidiary will shut down Medicare health maintenance organizations in Duval County, Clay County and Pinellas County in 2003.

The company will continue to sell Medicare supplement insurance in the three affected counties, and it will still run Medicare HMOs in Palm Beach County, Broward County and Dade County.

The company is blaming low reimbursement rates and government red tape for the cutbacks in Medicare HMO service.