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Two States Lose Special Treatment Under Fed Health Plans

OPM still designates 12 states as ‘medically underserved areas.’

Federal employees in Montana and South Dakota will no longer receive special treatment for their health benefits coverage in 2014, the Office of Personnel Management has announced.

The statute that governs the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program requires OPM to determine which states have “critical shortages of primary care physicians.” Employees in these states -- known as “medically underserved areas” -- receive reimbursement for covered services by any licensed provider in the state.

OPM calculates which states are underserved using data from the Health and Human Services Departments, as well as the Census Bureau. If at least 25 percent of the state’s population lives in a “primary medical care manpower shortage area” -- as determined by HHS -- the state is considered underserved. 

The 12 states that will receive the distinctive consideration in 2014 are Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming.

(Image via Hirurg/Shutterstock.com)

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