N.D. Blues to Issue Refunds of $26 Million on Regulators’ Approval

September 14, 2006

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota says its directors have voted to refund more than $26 million to policyholders if regulators approve.

The refunds would go to policyholders enrolled through a bank depositor, a Nodakare plan or student plan and to employers who sponsor fully-insured coverage for their employees, the Blues said in a statement.

The refunds are contingent on an opinion from Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem that they are legal, and on approval from Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman, the statement said. The refunds will be based on August 2006 premiums.

The refunds are being planned because company financial reserves have exceeded target levels in recent, years, the statement said. Refunds to bank depositor and student members would be about 80 percent of their monthly premium.

The Blues, North Dakota’s largest insurer, had more than $220 million in reserves at the end of last year.

Those not eligible for refunds include Medicare supplement members, those covered through the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System and members of self-funded employer group plans, the Blues statement said. Those groups, it said “have not contributed significantly to recent increases in the company’s financial reserves.”

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