Washington state insurance regulators have asked a nonprofit health carrier based in Washington to pull back on efforts to start a for-profit health plan in another state.
Premera Blue Cross, Mountlake Terrace, Wash., should stop selling new coverage through its LifeWise Health Plan of Arizona unit and “immediately file a viable financial plan” for the Arizona unit, according to Washington state Insurance Commissioner Myron Kreidler.
Premera has put $37 million into LifeWise, Scottsdale, Ariz., and now plans to put another $12 million into the unit, Kreidler says.
Kreidler says Premera projections show the company does not expect LifeWise to turn a profit in Arizona until 2012.
Premera appears to be using premiums from Washington state customers to subsidize the coverage for LifeWise customers, Kreidler says.
Washington was going to let Premera continue selling LifeWise coverage in Arizona, but Premera has not compiled with a request from Washington regulators for a detailed plan for reforming LifeWise, Washington officials say.