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HomeNewsArchivesATLANTIC SOUTHERN TO CONTINUE GROUP COVERAGE IN V.I.

ATLANTIC SOUTHERN TO CONTINUE GROUP COVERAGE IN V.I.

Officials of the Atlantic Southern Insurance Company are in the territory this week to reassure clients that the company is in good shape financially and will continue providing group coverage, despite pulling individual medical coverage last year.
"The company is alive and well and is most definitely in the group major medical business, " said Robin Bolton , president of the Puerto Rico-based company.
Atlantic Southern has about 350 group policies in the Virgin Islands, covering small and large businesses, he said.
"Having group medical insurance is as good for the businesses as it is for the employees. It creates a loyalty factor, a comfort factor and creates a situation where people want to stay with a company," he said. "And if employees get sick, they will be back sooner and healthier."
The confusion over Atlantic's status was caused in part, Bolton asserted, by former Lt. Gov. Kenneth Mapp's warning that residents would lose their group coverage after the firm announced it would no longer cover individuals.
"The company pulled out of individual major medical coverage business in the Virgin Islands last year, but the previous Lieutenant Governor made some erroneous statements that the company was pulling out of group major medical coverage, but that was never the plan in the slightest," he said.
Atlantic stopped covering individuals because of the rising costs of health care, Bolton said.
"The reason we got out of individual coverage is, the cost of health care is escalating, there was aggravation for the clients and we decided not to put our rates up."
Individual coverage is also more expensive because it is typically less healthy people who take out policies, Bolton said.
Group coverage, on the other hand, is more profitable and easier to manage, he said, because it covers many people, some of whom are very healthy and don't incur significant expenses.
"We're now in much better financial condition and we're concentrating on the business we know and business close to home," Bolton said.

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