NU Online News Service, Jan. 8, 10:42 a.m. – PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Cypress, Calif., could pay significantly more broker commissions this year as a result of a greater emphasis in its commercial insurance operations on small-group and individual health insurance products, company executives said yesterday in a discussion of the 2003 outlook.

Commercial customers of all kinds will be paying about 13% to 19% more per member per month even after cutting back on benefits and increasing co-payments and deductibles, the executives predicted.

Meanwhile, the PacifiCare unit that sells health coverage products to consumers over age 65 is shifting toward traditional Medicare supplement insurance policies, away from Medicare health maintenance organization programs, the executives said.