NU Online News Service, April 21, 2003, 1:08 p.m. EDT – Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, New York, has introduced Direct POS, a point-of-service plan for New York state employer groups with two to 50 employees.

A POS plan is a plan that provides some coverage for out-of-network care but provides much more complete, health maintenance organization-style coverage for patients who use in-network doctors and hospitals.

The Empire plan offers employers 12 options for sharing the cost of care with employees, Empire says. Employers can set inpatient co-pays as high as $500 and out-of-network deductibles as high as $2,000.

The plan also includes disease-management programs, the Empire BabyCare program for normal pregnancies, and special care for women with high-risk pregnancies.

Empire is a unit of WellChoice Inc., New York.