NU Online News Service, Oct. 11, 11:45 a.m. – The Texas Department of Insurance has arranged for HMO Blue Texas, Richardson, Texas, to offer coverage to the 28,000 commercial group members of AmCare Health Plans of Texas Inc., Houston, starting Nov. 1.

Employers and individual plan members can choose between accepting HMO Blue coverage or buying coverage elsewhere, according to the Texas department.

AmCare coverage will remain in effect through Oct. 31, even though the company is suffering from severe financial problems, the Texas department says.

The Texas department placed AmCare under conservatorship Sept. 27. A team of senior department staff members is trying to help it overcome its financial problems.

State law gives the Texas insurance commissioner the authority to allocate member groups to other HMOs when an HMO is in financial difficulty.

Texas officials picked HMO Blue to absorb AmCare’s commercial members because HMO Blue has a similar physician network. That means most AmCare members who switch to HMO Blue should be able to keep their current doctors, the department says.

HMO Blue Texas will not offer coverage to any of AmCare’s 27,689 Medicaid enrollees or 8,822 Medicare health maintenance organization members. The Texas department is looking for buyers for both of those segments of AmCare’s business, and both segments may be transferred to new carriers in the near future, the department says.