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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fla regulators mum on GOP leader's struggling insurance co, as other states clamp down



Bad news for A.K. Desai, finance chairman of the Florida GOP, and founder and CEO of Universal Health Care:

Financially struggling Universal Health Care, once among the fastest-growing companies in St. Petersburg, warned agents late Thursday that it has stopped marketing its services in all areas effective immediately.

The news comes after a series of layoffs at the downtown St. Petersburg headquarters of the managed care company and a regulatory crackdown in at least two states where Universal has done business.

In December, the company laid off at least 100 employees at its downtown St. Petersburg offices in part because of disappointing sales during the fall open enrollment period for Medicare. At the time, the company said it still had about 1,000 employees, 85 percent of them in St. Petersburg.

Executives with Universal could not be reached for comment on the company's status Friday.

Its alert to agents Thursday was brief:

"Universal Health Care has made the decision to stop marketing in all service areas effective immediately. To clarify, there should be no active marketing of any UHC product. Note: Until further notice, no commission will be paid for new enrollments. Please be assured that all commissions owed and renewals will be paid," the alert reads.

Story here

[Last modified: Friday, January 18, 2013 4:37pm]


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