The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is calling for California regulators to put strict limits on efforts by UnitedHealth Group Inc. to acquire PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.[@@]
UnitedHealth, Minnetonka, Minn., has agreed to pay $8.1 billion for PacifiCare, Cypress, Calif., a managed care company that provides or administers health coverage for 3.4 million people. UnitedHealth has said it is particularly interested in PacifiCare’s Medicare managed care operations.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a group that lobbied against approval of the recently completed acquisition of WellPoint Health Systems Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., by Anthem Inc., Indianapolis, is asking regulators to require that UnitedHealth keep PacifiCare’s $374 million in excess reserves in California.
Before PacifiCare is acquired, it should pay the excess premiums back to health plan enrollees or put the reserves in trust to insure California residents who have trouble paying for health coverage, the foundation says.