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PacifiCare Agrees on Sale of Losing Florida Operation

January 25, 1997|BARBARA MARSH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CYPRESS — PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., focusing on its proposed $2.1-billion acquisition of local managed-care rival FHP International Corp., said Friday that it has agreed to sell its loss-ridden Florida health plan.

PacifiCare said Michigan-based Total Health Care Inc., which has 55,000 members, is buying the Florida operations, which lost $20 million during the year ended Sept. 30 and are expected to lose $10 million this year.

Terms were not disclosed. The deal still must be approved by Florida regulators.

Cypress-based PacifiCare, the nation's largest health plan for patients on Medicare, the federal health-care program for the elderly, entered Florida's HMO market more than two years ago by buying two smaller, troubled health plans.

The Florida unit has about 30,000 members in plans in eight counties. In contrast, the company said, market leaders Humana Inc. and United HealthCare Corp. each have about 300,000 members in the state.

PacifiCare primarily serves employer groups, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in California, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Washington. Its proposed acquisition of FHP would add Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Guam.

California regulators have scheduled hearings next week on PacifiCare's plan to acquire FHP. The hearings will be Wednesday in Irvine and Thursday in San Diego.

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