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Lawmakers propose further review of N.J. Blues conversion

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 6, 2009

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Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey could face further hurdles in its bid to become a for-profit company. A bill that would create a new "public advocate" who would have to sign off on the change passed the state's General Assembly June 25 and will head to the state Senate for consideration.

The bill would require four public hearings instead of the one currently required under state law, and calls for a public advocate to aid the insurance commissioner in making the decision whether to allow the conversion.

The public advocate would also commission a study examining the "direct and indirect impact" the conversion would have on health of the state's population.

The state's Dept. of Banking and Insurance already has released requests for proposals seeking outside consultants and accountants to assess effects of a Horizon conversion.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/07/06/bibf0706.htm.

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