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Managed Care Giant To Buy Student Health Business

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UnitedHealth Group Inc. has agreed to acquire Student Resources from a unit of HealthMarkets Inc.

Student Resources sells health insurance to college students, and it also sells accident insurance to students at every level from preschool to grade 12.

HealthMarkets, North Richland Hills, Texas, is selling the unit because it wants to focus on selling health insurance to individuals, self-employed individuals and small businesses, the company says.

The deal should benefit Student Resources’ customers by giving them access to UnitedHealth’s large provider network and deep network discounts, HealthMarkets says.

UnitedHealth and HealthMarkets have not yet revealed the price of the deal, but they say they hope to complete it by the end of the year.

Student Resources’ employees will become employees of UnitedHealth once the deal is completed, HealthMarkets says.

HealthMarkets, a company formerly known as UICI, began to transform itself in September 2004 by acquiring HealthMarket Inc., Norwalk, Conn., one of the pioneering companies in the account-based health plan market.

The current managers of the company used cash from private equity investors to buy control of the company about a year ago and highlight the account-based plan operations.