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Notice

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Medically Underserved Areas for 2013

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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ACTION:

Notice of Medically Underserved Areas for 2013.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. 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 2013. 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 2013, the following 14 states are considered as Medically Underserved Areas under the FEHB Program: Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Alaska and Kentucky were designated as a Medically Underserved Area in 2012, but will not be so designated for 2013. South Carolina is being added as a Medically Underserved Area for the 2013 calendar year

DATES:

Effective January 1, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lynelle T. Frye, 202-606-0004.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

FEHB law (5 U.S.C. 8902(m)(2)) requires special consideration for enrollees of certain FEHB plans who receive covered health services in States with critical shortages of primary care physicians. This section of the law 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.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

John Berry,

Director.

[FR Doc. 2012-17753 Filed 7-20-12; 8:45 am]

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