NU Online News Service, Feb. 23, 2005, 5:05 p.m. EST

A large Columbus, Ohio, insurer will be working with an Austin, Texas, company to distribute limited-benefit health insurance plans.[@@]

The insurer, Nationwide Insurance Health Plans, a unit of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, has picked the Texas company, Fringe Benefit Group, to administer and market Nationwide mini med plans aimed at employers with 50 or more employees.

Nationwide has started working with Fringe Benefit to sell the product through Nationwide agents and independent agents in 25 states, and the companies hope to be marketing the product in 40 states by the end of the year.

The product is an insured indemnity plan designed to provide some coverage for hourly and part-time employees who are not in their employers’ traditional group health plans, Fringe Benefit says.