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Notice

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Medically Underserved Areas for 2002

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AGENCY:

Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION:

Notice of Medically Underserved Areas for 2002.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has completed its annual determination of the States that qualify as Medically Underserved Areas under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program for calendar year 2002. This is necessary to comply with a provision of the FEHB law that mandates special consideration for enrollees of certain FEHB plans who receive covered health services in States with critical shortages of primary care physicians. Accordingly, for calendar year 2002, OPM's calculations show that the following states are Medically Underserved Areas under the FEHB Program: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. We have removed Louisiana from the list for calendar year 2002 and added the states of Georgia, Montana, North Dakota, and Texas.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

January 1, 2002.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ingrid Burford, 202-606-0004.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

FEHB law (5 U.S.C. 8902(m)(2)) mandates special consideration for enrollees of certain FEHB plans who receive covered health services in States with critical shortages of primary care physicians. The FEHB law also requires that a State be designated as a Medically Underserved Area if 25 percent or more of the population lives in an area designated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a primary medical care manpower shortage area. Such States are designated as Medically Underserved Areas for purposes of the FEHB Program, and the law requires non-HMO FEHB plans to reimburse beneficiaries, subject to their contract terms, for covered services obtained from any licensed provider in these States.

FEHB regulations (5 CFR 890.701) require OPM to make an annual determination of the States that qualify as Medically Underserved Areas for the next calendar year by comparing the latest HHS State-by-State population counts on primary medical care manpower shortage areas with U.S. Census figures on State resident populations.

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Office of Personnel Management.

Kay Cole James,

Director.

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[FR Doc. 01-24104 Filed 9-25-01; 8:45 am]

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