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Microsoft gets OK to expand benefit risks funded via captive insurer

Microsoft gets OK to expand benefit risks funded via captive insurer

WASHINGTON—The Labor Department has given Microsoft Corp. tentative authorization to expand benefit risks funded through the software giant's captive.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft wants to use the Vermont branch of its Bermuda-based captive, Orcas Ltd., to reinsure life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment policies written by Prudential Insurance Co. of America Inc.

The additional coverage that received tentative Labor Department authorization Thursday will affect about 54,000 U.S. employees, according to an application submitted in October by George O'Donnell, senior vp in the Somerset, N.J., office of Aon Hewitt Inc.

In 2009, the Labor Department approved an arrangement in which Microsoft's Vermont branch captive reinsured long-term disability coverage, also written by Prudential.

Other applications under review

Other captive benefits funding applications under Labor Department review include one filed by Via Christi Health Inc., a Wichita, Kan.-based health care system, which wants to use the U.S. Virgin Islands branch of its Cayman Island captive insurer to fund life insurance risks; and Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Inc., which wants to fund life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, and long-term disability policies through its Hawaii captive.