A board committee at Universal American Financial Corp. has decided against approving an offer for the company from an investor team led by company Chairman Richard Barasch.

The offer, for $18.15 per share in cash, is “inadequate and not in the best interests of the company and its stockholders,” the board committee says.

The committee “reached its conclusion after careful consideration, including a thorough review of Universal American’s business and prospects with its independent financial advisor, Citigroup Global Markets, and its independent legal advisor, Willkie Farr & Gallagher L.L.P.,” according to the Universal American board.

The board committee is open to considering any other proposals that the Barasch group might present, the board says.

Universal American says insurance products aimed at older consumers and administration services for other insurers that sell to older consumers.

The Barasch team reported in October 2006 that it had financial backing from Capital Z Partners Ltd., New York; Lee Equity Partners L.L.C., New York; Perry Capital L.L.C., New York; and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe X L.P., New York.

Securities lawyers responded to the Barasch offer by going on Internet message boards and seeking investors interested in participating in a suit to block the offer.

In October, Barasch and other members of his team held about 48% of the company’s outstanding shares of common stock.