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New Jersey Nonprofit Might Convert

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A Garden State newspaper is reporting that a large, nonprofit health insurer is looking into the possibility of changing charters.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Newark, N.J., might try to switch to for-profit status, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Horizon Chief Executive William Marino has notified company employees in an electronic mail that the Horizon board has authorized him to prepare a conversion application, but a Horizon spokesman said the board has not decided whether to actually file the application, the newspaper is reporting.

Some New Jersey officials have hoped that Horizon would pay $1 billion to $3 billion to the state to compensate it for shifting nonprofit assets to for-profit status, and that the state could use that cash to start a universal health program.