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Published July 23, 2010, 02:47 PM

Regulator: ND Blue Cross surpluses not too large

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's insurance commissioner says Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota has been keeping reasonable money reserves in recent years.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's insurance commissioner says Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota has been keeping reasonable money reserves in recent years.

Adam Hamm says the surplus is reviewed whenever the Fargo health insurer asks for a rate increase.

In the last five years the surplus has ranged from $196 million to $236 million. Blue Cross likes to keep enough on hand to pay between three and four months' worth of claims.

Hamm was responding to a Consumers Union report that questioned the size of the surpluses kept by Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers. North Dakota wasn't included.

Four years ago, former Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman ordered the North Dakota Blues to pay $26.5 million in refunds because he said the company's surplus was too big.

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