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Broker Touts For-Profit Benefits Purchasing Club

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Choice Administrators is emphasizing that it is continuing to market a health coverage buying organization for small and midsize employers.

The Pacific Business Group on Health, San Francisco, announced Friday that it is discontinuing the Pacific Health Advantage small business benefits purchasing program, even though the program serves 6,200 small businesses and 116,000 plan members, because health insurers have been bailing out of the program.

The PBGH took control of the program, originally known as the Health Insurance Plan of California, from a state government agency in 1998.

Choice Administrators, a unit of Word & Brown Company, Orange, Calif., says its own 10-year-old California Choice purchasing program still serves more than 10,000 employer groups and 160,000 plan members.

Participating carriers include Blue Shield of California, San Francisco; Health Net Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif.; and Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif.

Choice Administrators also provides a similar program for employers with 51 to 199 employees.