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Calif. Health Plan Hunts United PPO Customers

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Blue Shield of California is trying to win over some United HealthCare Insurance Corp. PPO customers that may feel stranded after United’s recent acquisition of PacifiCare Life and Health Insurance Company.[@@@]

California Blue Shield, San Francisco, notes that as a result of United’s acquisition of PacifiCare late last year, the company will lose access to its current rented PPO network in California on June 22. That will require United to renegotiate contracts with physicians and hospitals throughout the state, Blue Shield notes.

If the change forces United members to switch physicians or pay out-of-network rates, Blue Cross says it stands ready to fill the gap.

Blue Shield is offering to take California self-funded businesses currently served by United, Minnetonka, Minn., on the same financial terms as they have with United.

For any of United’s self-funded California customers that switch by Oct. 31, Blue Shield says it will honor their existing United contract, including any financial guarantees, for 12 months.