Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Health Care Horizons says grade due to strategy.

Byline: Journal Staff Report

A major downgrade in an Albuquerque HMO's financial rating reflects a business strategy, not financial weakness, a Health Care Horizons spokesman said.

QualMed Plans for Health was downgraded from a C to a D rating by Weiss Ratings Inc. of Florida, a national insurance company evaluator.

Weiss financial analyst Donna O'Rourke said the downgrade was due to a decrease in QualMed's capital from $4.8 million at the end of 1999 to $1 million at the end of this year's first quarter.

Arturo Delgado, public relations manager for Health Care Horizons, owner of QualMed since October 1999, said QualMed's 30,000 members are being moved to Cimarron Health Plan insurance products over the next 12 to 18 months. …

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