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D.C. Gov't Decision Could Alter City's Health Insurance Market

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By David Schultz

This is a pivotal week for Care First, D.C.'s largest health care provider. Mayor Adrian Fenty's insurance regulator, Gennet Purcell, will determine whether Care First's financial reserves are excessive. If they are, Purcell can order Care First to give a portion of those reserves, up to $300 million, to the D.C. government.

The local activist group D.C. Appleseed argues Care First has too much cash on hand and, as a regulated non-profit company, it should be investing that cash into the community. Care First disagrees. It says its reserves are necessary to handle an unplanned spike in the number of claims.

Purcell hired an independent auditor to verify this. She's scheduled to announce her final decision later this week.

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