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NEW YORK-New York Life Insurance Co. has reorganized its health care business into a national company unified by a single brand name but emphasizing local responsibility for marketing and service delivery in each of 11 regional operations.

The move calls for Sanus Corp. Health Systems, New York Life's managed care subsidiary, to merge with New York Life's group health department. In addition, various regional brand names, such as Sanus, Health Plus and Ethix, are being united under the new NYLCare name.

"It's a strong signal that opposed to what a lot of other carriers are doing, New York Life is not exiting the business. In point of fact, New York Life intends to make it a strong business," said Joseph Lynaugh, president and CEO of NYLCare Health Plans Inc., the new parent company for New York Life's health insurance business. "The creation of NYLCare is a reaffirmation that this is a core business of New York Life."

NYLCare Health Plans will offer traditional and managed indemnity plans, point-of-service, HMOs or various hybrid plans, and PPOs to both large and small groups.

The company also will offer such ancillary benefits as dental, vision, life and disability insurance; mental health, substance abuse and pharmacy benefit programs; and flexible benefits administration.

"The future is going to belong to those who have a full product line. This means the indemnity and the managed care and every mix and match you can think of," Mr. Lynaugh said. "To do it right you've got to get them all together under one framework."

While the regional divisions will be able to take advantage of administrative systems support and quality assurance from the central operation, the 11 regional operations will be responsible for marketing and managing the delivery of all NYLCare products, Mr. Lynaugh said.

"We really have passed down the profit and loss responsibility not only for the HMOs but also for the indemnity business into 11 regions around the country," he said.

"That's a big lesson we learned through the whole HMO experience, that the only way you can run these things is locally. We've transferred that to the indemnity world," said Mr. Lynaugh.

The new company will have estimated 1996 revenue of $2.5 billion, will cover about 3.5 million people, including 1 million in health maintenance organizations, and will offer indemnity plans nationwide and preferred provider organizations in 41 states.

Beginning in mid-February, NYLCare will be based in new offices in New York, bringing together 700 employees from New York Life's group department offices and Sanus' headquarters in Fort Lee, N.J.


SAN ANTONIO, Texas-E.W. Blanch Wholesale Insurance Services Inc. has reached an agreement to acquire Denver-based InsGroup Services Co., an association of more than 85 independent property-casualty insurance agencies located around the country.

Terms of the transaction, which was expected to close today, were not disclosed.

San Antonio-based E.W. Blanch Wholesale Insurance Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based E.W. Blanch Holdings Inc.

The insurance agencies in InsGroup had a total premium volume of about $2.7 billion in 1995 and have a combined total of about 3,500 employees.


NEW YORK-SAFR Reinsurance Corp. of the U.S. has started a new property facultative department.

The new operation offers up to $25 million in limits and will specialize in highly engineered and technical risk business.

The underwriters that are staffing the department have engineering backgrounds as well as underwriting experience with major insurers of large property risks.

For more information call 212-432-3500.


SAN FRANCISCO-Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. has selected Charity First, a San Francisco-based marketer of non-profit insurance, as its exclusive agency for non-profit organizations in the United States.

Charity First, which markets comprehensive liability and property insurance to educational, religious and charitable organizations, began writing all new and existing accounts through Aetna Jan. 2.

An online connection to Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna's home office computer system enables Charity First to issue policies and endorsements directly from its San Francisco office.

Comprehensive insurance programs provided by Charity First are distributed by independent insurance agents and brokers.

For more information call 415-536-8560.


CHICAGO-Near North National Group has opened a new brokerage division, Near North Entertainment Ltd., in London.

Derek Townshend has been named managing director of the new division, and will develop the new office's business in the film, television and related businesses and provide service in London and other European markets.

Chicago-based Near North is also a joint venture limited partner with Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. and motion picture film completion bond company International Film Guarantors.

For more information on Near North Entertainment Ltd. in London call 011/44/193-256-2611.