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Best's Rating Changes.

This summary of Best's Rating Changes includes life, health-care and property/casualty insurers domiciled in North America, as well as international insurers that had ratings assigned, changed or placed under review since this section last appeared in the August 2004 edition of Best's Review.

Best's Rating Changes is an abbreviated version of Best's Rating Monitor, which is published in BestWeek, our weekly insurance industry newsletter. See page 22 for the current Guide to Best's Financial Strength Ratings or visit the A.M. Best Co. Web site at www.ambest.com/ratings/guide.html for detailed rating definitions.

The A.M. Best rating of any company and basic company information are also available free of charge at the Web site.
Ratings Changed

Rating Current Previous
Action Company Name & Domicile AMB# Rating Rating

Life/Health

 Capital Blue Cross 64554 NR-5 B++ pd
 US: Pennsylvania
 Family Financial Life
 Insurance Company 07936 NR-5 B+
 US: Indiana
New Forethought Life Assurance
 Company 08321 A- NR-3
 US: Indiana
- Life and Health Insurance Co
 of America 08070 F D
 US: Pennsylvania
+ MONY Life Insurance Company 06751 A+ A u
 US: New York
+ MONY Life Insurance Company
 of America 08091 A+ A u
 US: Arizona
- Standard Life Insurance
 Company of IN 07073 B B+
 US: Indiana
+ U.S. Financial Life Insurance
 Company 08492 A+ A u
 US: Ohio
New XL Life Insurance and Annuity
 Company 60395 A+ NR-2
 US: Illinois

HMO

- Alliance for Community Health 64179 B- pd B pd
 US: Missouri
- AMERIGROUP Illinois Inc 64100 C++ pd B- pd
 US: Illinois
- Athens Area Health Plan
 Select Inc 64556 C+ pd C++ pd
 US: Georgia
- Avera Health Plans Inc 64515 C pd C++ pd
 US: South Dakota
+ Central Oregon Independent
 Health Servcs 64496 C++ pd C+ pd
 US: Oregon
- Chinese Community Health Plan 64144 C++ pd B- pd
 US: California
- Community Health Group 64145 C++ pd B- pd
 US: California
+ Cook Children's Health Plan 64508 C++ pd C+ pd
 US: Texas
- Dean Health Plan Inc 64203 C++ pd B- pd
 US: Wisconsin
 Delmarva Health Plan Inc 68756 NR-5 B+ pd
 US: Maryland
- Driscoll Children's Health
 Plan 64519 B- pd B pd
 US: Texas
 Family Health Care Plus Inc 64132 E NR-5
 US: Mississippi
- Gundersen Lutheran Health
 Plan Inc 64204 C++ pd B- pd
 US: Wisconsin
- Health Partners of
 Philadelphia Inc 64160 C++ pd B- pd
 US: Pennsylvania
- Health Plan of the Upper Ohio
 Valley 64201 B- pd B pd
 US: West Virginia
- HealthEase of Florida Inc 64647 C pd C+ pd
 US: Florida
- HealthSpring Inc 64300 C pd C+ pd
 US: Tennessee
- Inland Empire Health Plan 64578 C++ pd B pd
 US: California
- Kern Health Systems 64084 B+ pd B++ pd
 US: California
 Keystone Health Plan Central
 Inc 64051 NR-5 B+ pd
 US: Pennsylvania
 Memphis Managed Care
 Corporation 68735 NR-5 C- pd
 US: Tennessee
+ Neighborhood Health Plan Inc 68744 C++ pd C+ pd
 US: Massachusetts
 Paramount Care Inc 68579 NR-4 B+
 US: Ohio
 Paramount Care of Michigan 64294 NR-4 B+
 US: Michigan
- PHN-HMO Inc 64295 C- pd C pd
 US: Maryland
- PHP Insurance Plan Inc 64123 C+ pd C++ pd
 US: Wisconsin
- Physicians Health Plan of
 Southwest MI 64620 C+ pd C++ pd
 US: Michigan
 Preferred Health Partnership
 of TN Inc 64302 NR-5 C++ pd
 US: Tennessee
- Preferred Medical Plan 64120 C++ pd B- pd
 US: Florida
+ Saint Mary's HealthFirst 64237 C+ pd C pd
 US: Nevada
- Santa Clara County 64152 C+ pd C++ pd
 US: California
+ Scan Health Plan 60187 C++ pd C pd
 US: California
- Security Health Plan of
 Wisconsin Inc 64207 C++ pd B- pd
 US: Wisconsin
+ Seton Health Plan Inc 64252 C pd C- pd
 US: Texas
+ Total Health Choice Inc 68742 C++ pd C+ pd
 US: Florida
- Union Health Service Inc 64091 C++ pd B- pd
 US: Illinois
- Upper Peninsula Health Plan
 Inc 64619 C+ pd C++ pd
 US: Michigan
- ValueOptions of California
 Inc 64653 B- pd B pd
 US: California
- Vantage Health Plan Inc 64282 B- pd B pd
 US: Louisiana
+ Welborn Clinic 64272 C+ pd C pd
 US: Indiana
+ WellCare of New York Inc 68750 C+ pd C- pd
 US: New York
+ Western Dental Services Inc 64651 B+ pd B pd
 US: California

Property/Casualty

+ Affirmative Insurance Company 01795 B+ B u
 US: Illinois
New Affirmative Insurance Group 18648 B+
 US: Illinois
 Aries Insurance Company Inc 12181 NR-5 F
 US: Florida
- Converium Insurance (North
 America) Inc 00554 A- u A
 US: New Jersey
- Converium Reinsurance (NA)
 Inc 02696 A- u A
 US: Connecticut
New New Darwin National Assurance 12699 A
 US: Delaware
+ Insura Property & Casualty
 Ins Co. Inc 02741 B+ B u
 US: Illinois
 Nationwide Affinity Insurance
 Co of Amer 11802 NR-3 A+
 US: Kansas
 Oak Casualty Insurance
 Company 10626 NR-5 F
 US: Illinois
 Riverport Insurance Company
 of Calif 12346 NR-5 A
 US: California
- Security Indemnity Insurance
 Company 10420 F E
 US: New Jersey

International

 Atlas Assurance Company
 Limited 85547 NR-5 B+ pd
 United Kingdom
 AXA General Insurance Limited 85550 NR-5 B+ pd
 United Kingdom
 AXA Insurance plc 85203 NR-5 B+ pd
 United Kingdom
 AXA PPP Healthcare Limited 87530 NR-5 B+ pd
 United Kingdom
- Converium AG 84820 A- u A
 Switzerland
- Converium Group 84394 A- u A
 Switzerland
- Converium Insurance (UK)
 Limited 89074 A- u A
 United Kingdom
- Converium Rueckversicherung
 (DE) AG 85629 A- u A
 Germany
 Guardian Eastern Insurance Co
 Ltd 87375 NR-5 B+ pd
 United Kingdom
 Guardian Health Limited 86507 NR-5 B+ pd
 United Kingdom
- International Ins Co of
 Hannover Limited 86486 A- A
 United Kingdom
 State Assurance Company
 Limited 84834 NR-5 B+ pd
 United Kingdom

Rating Action: (+) or (-) Rating upgraded or downgraded; (New) Assigned
initial rating; (u) Rating placed under review

GUIDE TO BEST'S FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATINGS

A Best's Rating is an independent opinion, based on a comprehensive
quantitative and qualitative evaluation, of a company's balance sheet
strength, operating performance and business profile. Best's Ratings
are not a warranty of a company's financial strength and ability to
meet its obligations to policyholders.

Financial Strength Ratings

A Best's Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an opinion of an insurer's
ability to meet its obligations to policyholders.

Rating Descriptor Definition

Secure

A++, A+ Superior Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a superior ability to meet
 their ongoing obligations to
 policyholders.
A, A- Excellent Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, an excellent ability to meet
 their ongoing obligations to
 policyholders.
B++, B+ Very Good Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a good ability to meet their
 ongoing obligations to policyholders.

Vulnerable

B, B- Fair Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a fair ability to meet their
 current obligations to policyholders,
 but are financially vulnerable to
 adverse changes in underwriting and
 economic conditions.
C++, C+ Marginal Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a marginal ability to meet
 their current obligations to
 policyholders, but are financially
 vulnerable to adverse changes in
 underwriting and economic conditions.
C, C- Weak Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a weak ability to meet their
 current obligations to policyholders,
 but are financially very vulnerable to
 adverse changes in underwriting and
 economic conditions.
D Poor Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a poor ability to meet their
 current obligations to policyholders
 and are financially extremely
 vulnerable to adverse changes in
 underwriting and economic conditions.
E Under Assigned to companies (and possibly
 Regulatory their subsidiaries/affiliates) that
 Supervision have been placed by an insurance
 regulatory authority under a
 significant form of supervision,
 control or restraint whereby they are
 no longer allowed to conduct normal
 ongoing insurance operations. This
 would include conservatorship or
 rehabilitation, but does not include
 liquidation. It may also be assigned to
 companies issued cease and desist
 orders by regulators outside their home
 state or country.
F In Liquidation Assigned to companies that have been
 placed under an order of liquidation by
 a court of law or whose owners have
 voluntarily agreed to liquidate the
 company. Note: Companies that
 voluntarily liquidate or dissolve their
 charters are generally not insolvent.
S Suspended Assigned to companies that have
 experienced sudden and significant
 events affecting their balance sheet
 strength or operating performance and
 whose rating implications cannot be
 evaluated due to a lack of timely or
 adequate information.

Rating Modifiers and Affiliation Codes

A rating modifier can be assigned to indicate that a Best's Rating may
be subject to near-term change (under review), that a company did not
subscribe to Best's interactive rating process (public data) and that
the rating is assigned to a syndicate operating at Lloyd's. Affiliation
codes (g, p, and r) are added to Best's Ratings to identify companies
whose assigned ratings are based on group, pooling or reinsurance
affiliation with other insurers.

Modifier Descriptor Definition

 Rating
Modifiers

 u Under Review A modifier that generally is event-
 driven (positive, negative or
 developing) and is assigned to a
 company whose Best's Rating opinion is
 under review and may subject change in
 the near-term, generally defined as six
 months.
 pd Public Data Assigned to insurers that do not
 subscribe to Best's interactive rating
 process. Best's "pd" Ratings reflect
 qualitative and quantitative analyses
 using public data and information.
 s Syndicate Assigned to syndicates operating at
 Lloyd's.

Affiliation Codes g Group p Pooled r Reinsured

Not Rated Categories (NR)

Assigned to companies reported on by A.M. Best, but not assigned a
Best's Rating. The five categories are:

NR-1: Insufficient Data.
NR-2: Insufficient Size and/or Operating Experience.
NR-3: Rating Procedure Inapplicable.
NR-4: Company Request.
NR-5: Not Formally Followed.

Rating Outlook

Best's interactive Ratings (A++ to D) are assigned a Rating Outlook
that indicates the potential direction of a company's rating for an
intermediate period, generally defined as the next 12 to 36 months.
Rating Outlooks, which appear in the rating rationale section of the
company's Best's Company Report, are as follows:

Positive Indicates a company's financial/market trends are
 favorable, relative to its current rating level and, if
 continued, the company has a good possibility of having its
 rating upgraded.
Negative Indicates a company is experiencing unfavorable financial/
 market trends, relative to its current rating level and, if
 continued, the company has a good possibility of having its
 rating downgraded.
Stable Indicates a company is experiencing stable financial/market
 trends and there is a low likelihood that its rating will
 change in the near term.

Best's Ratings are distributed via press release and/or the A.M. Best
Web site at www.ambest.com, and are published in the Rating Monitor
section of BestWeek[R]. Best's Ratings are proprietary and may not be
reproduced without permission.

Copyright [c] 2004 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.

Version 062504
COPYRIGHT 2004 A.M. Best Company, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Ratings
Publication:Best's Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2004
Words:1759
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