INDIANAPOLIS -- The policyholders of Associated Group voted Thursday to merge the company's Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana health insurance plan with the Kentucky 'Blues' plan.
The merger would make Southeastern Mutual Insurance Company of Louisville and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kentucky subsidiaries of Indianapolis-based Associated Group.
The merger needs approval by insurance regulators in both states to become final.
If the merger goes through, officials said, the merged company will be among the strongest Blue Cross and Blue Sield operations in the country.
Associated would not pay for Southeastern. Both are mutual companies that remain owned entirely by policyholders.
Southeastern President Stephen Bow and other managers would remain in power and no layoffs of the 2,000 Kentucky employees are planned. Southeastern would have four directors on the expanded 15-member board of Associated.
Policyholders would see no difference in coverage or premiums, but the combination would save processing costs, officials said.
'We would have to be insane not to do this deal. It's really good,' said L. Ben Lytle, president and chief executive of Associated Group.
Southeastern reported 1992 revenues of $1.06 billion, reserves of $246 million and net income of $46 million. Associated's comparable figures were $1.8 billion, $559 million and $23 million.