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Local health insurer to expand.

Byline: Tim Christie The Register-Guard

PacificSource Health Plans is taking its business beyond Oregon for the first time in its 74-year history.

The not-for-profit health insurer, which is based in Springfield, is opening an office in Boise, part of a broader strategy to expand in small- and medium-sized markets in the Northwest.

The Boise office is set to open next week with three full-time employees, company spokeswoman Colleen Thompson said.

Boise is now served by two health plans, BlueCross of Idaho and Regency BlueShield.

"Market research showed a need for additional health plan choices in the Boise area," PacificSource CEO Ken Provencher said.

"We feel there's room for us as an independent, Pacific Northwest-based carrier with local decision-making."

David Ewers, district manager for the Boise office, said, "It didn't take long in my conversations with the business provider community to learn they have a strong desire for more choice."

PacificSource already serves about 1,000 subscribers in Boise, most of them employees of Oregon businesses that operate in Idaho.

Thompson said the company is now doing market research for a planned move into Washington.

The company provides health insurance to more than 150,000 people through contracts with more than 9,000 doctors, hospitals and other health providers. In addition to Springfield, it also has offices in Portland, Bend and Medford. It employs about 325 people, including at two subsidiaries, and plans to eventually add eight to 10 full-time employees in Boise.

PacificSource was founded in Eugene in 1933 as Pacific Hospital Association, a physician-owned company that founded Pacific Christian Hospital - later sold to an order of nuns who renamed it Sacred Heart.
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Title Annotation:Business; PacificSource will open an office in Boise as part of a strategy to move into other Northwest markets
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 14, 2007
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