NU Online News Service, May 14, 2004, 5:01 p.m. EDT – UICI, North Richland Hills, Texas, has agreed to a settlement connected with health insurance policies it sells through associations.[@@]

UICI has agreed, without acknowledging any fault, liability or wrongdoing of any kind, to resolve litigation in California and Mississippi over the policies by giving consumers more information about its contractual relationships with the associations that sell the coverage, the company says.

UICI also has agreed to provide several months of free accident coverage for current and former customers of its health insurance subsidiaries and current and former members of the associations, the company says.

“The settlement also contemplates the payment of attorneys’ fees to counsel for the plaintiff class,” UICI says. “The proposed settlement does not contemplate a release of specific claims by individuals for insurance coverage benefits.”

UICI already has recorded a $25 million charge in connection with the association health litigation. The proposed settlement should “not have a material adverse effect upon the financial condition or results of operations of the company,” UICI says.

UICI is filing the settlement agreement in the U.S. District Court in Dallas.

UICI reports it also is settling an association group case pending in a state court in Texas and an association group case pending in a federal court in California. It already has settled association group litigation filed on behalf of individual claimants in Mississippi, the company says.