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District Delays Carefirst Decision

The District Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking will delay making a decision on whether Carefirst BlueCross BlueShield, the region's largest health care insurer, has to give a portion of its $687 million surplus to the city.

Gennet Purcell, acting DISB commissioner, had announced that the agency would issue a decision on Sept. 30. But Walter Smith, executive director of the DC Appleseed Center, said that date is being pushed back to a Dec. 31 deadline.

Purcell has brought on experts to look at the surplus, which if deemed excessive could mean a windfall for District insurance subscribers and the city government. In addition, Maryland officials are also looking at the surplus.

Appleseed has been pushing the city to aggressively pursue the surpluses of Carefirst, which is a charitable and benevolent not-for-profit under its federal charter.

"It doesn't help anyone if you have conflicting decisions," Smith said.

At a recent hearing, Carefirst executives argued before the DISB commission that its first obligation is to its subscribers and that it needs an adequate surplus for potential claims.

By Anne Bartlett  |  September 23, 2009; 4:09 PM ET
Categories:  City Finances , Nikita Stewart  
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