NU Online News Service, May 30, 2003, 3:57 p.m. EDT – UICI, North Richland Hills, Texas, says it will be getting rid of a 2-year-old senior market division that sells long-term care insurance and Medicare supplement insurance.

The MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company and Mid-West National Life Insurance Company of Tennessee, the UICI subsidiaries that wrote the policies, will continue to honor their commitments to the policyholders, UICI says.

But UICI plans to sell the senior market division soon or wind down its operations.

UICI is selling the division because division operating losses increased to $7.5 million in 2002, from $2.1 million in 2001, and the division seems likely to produce more losses this year, UICI says.

UICI estimates that closing the senior market division will cost it about $12 million.

The senior market division has been one of three divisions at UICI. A second division sells student loans and college tuition installment payment plans, and a third division, a niche health insurance division, sells major medical health insurance to students and self-employed people. The niche health insurance division also sells inexpensive, limited-benefit health insurance policies aimed at low-paid hourly employees.

UICI announced plans May 23 to bring back William Gedwed, a former executive vice president who left the company in 2001, to take over as president and increase the company’s emphasis on the niche health insurance business.