Largest NJ health insurer wants for-profit status

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - August 15, 2008 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey filed an application Friday to become a for-profit company. Horizon has 3.6 million members.

Under a 2001 state law, Horizon would have to compensate the state for years of tax breaks it received as a not-for-profit.

Horizon estimates more than $1 billion would become available to improve the state's health care system. Some estimates have put the value at up to $4 billion.

Consumer advocates and doctors worry premiums and the number of uninsured people in New Jersey would increase if Horizon converted.

The state must approve the switch, following a series of public hearings.

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