NU Online News Service, Nov. 12, 9:41 a.m. – PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Cypress, Calif., is setting up a defined-contribution health plan that will open for business Jan. 1, 2003.

The plan, which will be offered to employers with more than 250 employees, combines high-deductible preferred provider plan coverage with employer-funded personal care accounts that can be used to pay for routine care.

The accounts are set up so that participants can roll over a portion of the unused funds from year to year.

The availability of the PPO helps workers get the most out of their coverage by providing access to discounted care from the same doctors and hospitals that treat members of traditional PacifiCare plans.

Plan members also can participate in PacifiCare’s programs for managing conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and depression.