NU Online News Service, March 18, 2004, 2:10 p.m. EST – UniCare Life & Health Insurance Company, Newbury Park, Calif., is offering a private Medicare fee-for-service plan in 60 Iowa counties.[@@]

The new SecurityChoice plan, which is the fee-for-service equivalent of a Medicare managed care plan, provides a generic prescription drug benefit along with coverage for hospital services, physician services, emergency room visits and diagnostic testing.

The co-payment for an office visit is $10, and the co-payment for a prescription is $12 for a 30-day supply from an in-network pharmacy.

To qualify for coverage, individuals must have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage. Eligible individuals in the SecurityChoice service area can join the plan for $9 in premiums per month.

UniCare, a unit of WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., has set up similar SecurityChoice plans in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Virginia and Wisconsin.