NU Online News Service, Aug. 22, 3:05 p.m. – PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Santa Ana, Calif., says two subisidaries have received the approvals they need to sell preferred provider organization plans in California, Oklahoma and Texas.

Regulatory approvals are pending in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The subsidiaries offering the PPO plans are PacifiCare Life and Health Insurance Company and PacifiCare Life Assurance Company.

PacifiCare will be selling the PPO plans as an alternative to its health maintenance organization plans.

PacifiCare will begin enrolling PPO members in the three states where the PPO plans are already approved in October. The company hopes to begin enrolling PPO members in the other five states in late 2002.

The PPO plans could have as many as 540,000 members within five years, PacifiCare says.