Struggling local insurer to close its doors after big losses

Advantage Health Solutions Inc., a struggling Indianapolis insurer that recently racked up huge losses and laid off dozens of workers earlier this year, is throwing in the towel.
The company said Thursday it is shutting down its last line of business, commercial health insurance offered to employer groups, with plan coverage ending Dec. 31.
The plans cover 11,635 beneficiaries under 245 employer groups. Advantage said it is working with brokers and employers to make sure plan members would have no gaps in coverage.
“Medical services will be provided and claims will be processed and paid in accordance with their current benefit plans,” the company said.
The decision came after “months of evaluation and strategic discussions.” Advantage lost $46.3 million during the first eight months of last year and was put under supervision of the Indiana Department of Insurance in November. It had lost $10.7 million in 2014.
Also last year, it dropped its Medicare Advantage business, which provided private health insurance to 22,500 seniors, after that plan lost money.
In January, the company told the state it planned to terminate 78 of its 130 employees. The company said it now has 30 employees and will gradually reduce its workforce through next year.
Advantage, founded in 2000, is owned by four Catholic health care systems. St. Vincent Health and Franciscan St. Francis Health hospital systems each owns 34.5 percent of the company. Ancilla Systems Inc. and St. Joseph Regional Medical Center each owns 15.5 percent.
St. Francis and St. Vincent contributed more than $30 million to Advantage last year to help cover the losses, but even after the payments, the company’s capital levels remained critically low.
Advantage has lost some large employer clients in recent years, including the Indianapolis Colts and Indianapolis Public Schools.
In a statement, the company said it has “been proud to serve our Indiana customers for the past 16 years.” It said beneficiaries will get detailed information in the mail regarding the transition to other health plans.

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