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Kaiser To Share Reserves With Colorado

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Kaiser Permanente Colorado has agreed to pay $155 million to employers, individuals and health programs in Colorado in 2009 and 2010 to address regulators’ concerns about its net worth.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado, a unit of Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., notes that it needs more cash than other health carriers, because it provides care through its own clinics and other facilities as well as acting as a payer.

But Kaiser Permanente Colorado is not expecting to have capital needs that would exhaust its reserves in 2009 and 2010, the company says.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado will provide a $287 credit for individual and family plan subscribers in Colorado in 2009, and again in 2010.

The company will provide a $287-per-employee credit for Colorado employers in 2009, and again in 2010, and it will put a total of $5 million in extra cash into its medical financial assistance program.

The company also will increase “investments held in its own accounts and [reduce] the balance held by its California affiliates,” Kaiser Permanente Colorado says.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides or administers health coverage for 485,000 people in Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs.

Colorado regulators began negotiating the agreement announced this week after reviewing the company’s 2001 to 2005 financial statements and finding that its net worth was high.

Donna Lynne, regional president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado, says the company will push forward with efforts to expand and update facilities despite the move to reduce its reserves.

“As part of our commitment to providing care for our members, we have made, and will continue to make, significant investments in our delivery system in order to provide quality health care,” Lynne says in the statement. “This includes building even more medical offices, employing of clinicians and providing state of the art equipment and technology for our patients.”


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