NU Online News Service, Oct. 1, 8:03 p.m. – WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif., says its Blue Cross of California unit will be selling a defined-contribution health program, the Power HealthFund PPO preferred provider organization plan, in California.

California Blue will be selling the program to employers with 500 or more employees enrolled in either insured health plans or self-funded health plans.

The program will offer a combination of high-deductible PPO coverage from California Blue and its affiliates and individual health accounts that employees can use to pay day-to-day medical expenses.

Employers can choose between using health reimbursement arrangements or flexible spending accounts to provide the individual health accounts, WellPoint says.

Employers would fund the HRAs, and employees would fund the FSAs, WellPoint says.

WellPoint says California Blue will also supply program participants with detailed, Web-based health care cost guides.

California Blue will begin selling the program by Oct. 31, and coverage will begin taking effect Jan. 1, 2003.