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Premera ends for-profit conversion effort


MOUNT LAKE TERRACE, Wash.--Premera Blue Cross said it will end its effort to become a publicly traded, for-profit corporation by withdrawing an appeal to Washington's Supreme Court.

In 2002, nonprofit Premera sought to convert to a public company, but Washington's Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler denied the request. An appeals court ruled against the health plan last year, leading to the Supreme Court appeal.

On Monday, Mount Lake Terrace, Wash.-based Premera said Washington's medical community had presented the majority of the opposition to it going public.

"Premera has listened to these constituencies and decided to drop the conversion appeal," the company said in a statement.

The Washington State Hospital Assn. also announced it will withdraw a lawsuit it filed in 2003 to block Premera's conversion.