Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Durham, said it will withdraw its plan to convert to for-profit status. The Blues' board of trustees voted unanimously to scrap the conversion plan, citing the length and cost of the process as well as the risk that conversion would result in new regulatory restrictions, such as rate caps. The decision came less than a week after an outside consultant recommended that North Carolina regulators be given authority to oversee and possibly modify increases in executive compensation if the insurer were to go for-profit. The 2.8 million-member Blues plan announced its intention to convert in December 2001 and officially filed a conversion plan in January 2002. The company has spent $18 million on the process during the past 19 months, officials said. -- by Laura B. Benko
N.C. Blues plan gives up on becoming for-profit
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