Regulators didn’t question Regence payout


State regulators approved a 12.8% rate increase for Regence BlueCross BlueShield five months after the insurer paid a $56 million dividend to its holding company, some of which was used to launch a subsidiary.

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State regulators approved a 12.8% rate increase for Regence BlueCross BlueShield five months after the insurer paid a $56 million dividend to its holding company, some of which was used to launch a subsidiary.

…Some of those investment dollars were intended to develop a subsidiary company for Regence – known as Sprig Health – whose mission is “to change the U.S. health system by introducing a common sense alternative to insurance coverage,” according to its website. Sprig – which is available to people without health insurance – allows them to book a medical appointment online, and pay using their credit card.

“I was contacted by Jared Short (president of Regence), and he gave me a heads up about the dividend,” said Teresa Miller, Oregon’s insurance commissioner. “He didn’t get too much into the details, but said they planned to spend the money on some wellness activities.”

State regulators have no jurisdiction over Regence’s holding company – which recently changed its name from The Regence Group to Cambia Health Solutions — yet posed no objection and approved the dividend payment, according to Cheryl Martinis, spokesperson for the Insurance Division.

“We only have authority over insurance entities,” Miller said.

Read the full story at The Lund Report.

 




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