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Kansas health care system seeks to fund life risks through captive


WASHINGTON—Via Christi Health Inc., a Wichita, Kan.-based health care system, has resubmitted an application seeking Labor Department permission to fund life insurance risks through the U.S. Virgin Islands branch of its Cayman Island captive insurance company.

Like the earlier proposal, under the latest application submitted earlier this month, the policies would be written by Minnesota Life Insurance Co. Via Christi would reinsure the risk through the Virgin Islands branch, which was established in September to reinsure Via Christi employee benefit risks.

The revised proposal had been expected since the health care system, in a move it described as temporary, withdrew the application in December. “We're simply re-evaluating our application and anticipate resubmitting,” David Hadley, Via Christi senior vp-finance and chief financial officer, said at the time.

Via Christi, which says it is the largest provider of health care services in Kansas, fully or partially owns or manages 12 hospitals in the state. It generated $1.09 billion in operating revenue in fiscal 2010.

Via Christi's application follows a spurt of activity in the captive employee benefits funding arena.

Earlier this month, the Labor Department gave Microsoft Corp. final authorization to use the Vermont branch of its Bermuda captive to reinsure life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment policies written by Prudential Insurance Co. of America. Microsoft already uses the Vermont branch to reinsure long-term disability coverage.

And last week, Google Inc. received tentative authorization to use its Hawaii captive to reinsure life, accidental death and dismemberment, and long-term disability policies, also written by Prudential.

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