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SALE OF GHA TO HUMANA IS ENDORSED BY LOCAL 25 OF HOTEL EMPLOYEES AND RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES UNION

 WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Group Health Association issued the following:
 The sale of GHA to Humana Inc. today was endorsed by Local 25 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union. About half of the 7,000 workers represented by the local are members of GHA.
 GHA, the Washington area's oldest health maintenance organization, is conducting a mail referendum among its 134,000 members on whether to sell GHA to Louisville, Ky.-based Humana for approximately $50 million.
 The referendum must be approved by two-thirds of the members voting, and ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 9.
 Ron Richardson, executive secretary-treasurer of Local 25, said the proposed sale "represents the best hope for continued health care coverage of all GHA members.
 "I urge all GHA members to approve the sale and to return their ballots by the Monday deadline," he said.
 The sale has also been endorsed by 19 current and former members of GHA's board of trustees.
 Humana's track record with managed health care plans is impressive. Over the past seven years Humana has acquired 15 health care plans, some of which were financially troubled, and all of which have been restored to financial health.
 GHA has been on a financial roller coaster for the past decade. Its share of the Washington-area HMO market has plunged from 41 percent in 1984 to less than 8 percent today; its operating margin now stands at less than 1 percent; and it continues to lose members at the rate of about 1,000 a month.
 In June, GHA officials announced that it would eliminate 200 full- time staff positions and cut $1.4 million in administrative expenses.
 GHA President and CEO Robert P. Pfotenhauer said that if the sale of GHA to Humana does not take place, additional cutbacks can be expected.
 If the referendum is approved, Humana is dedicated to maintaining current benefits that GHA members enjoy under their existing contracts, offering continued coverage for all direct pay and personal pay members, seeking to continue patient-physician relationships, maintaining competitive premium rates, ensuring consumer input through a member advisory board and continuing the GHA name.
 Humana would also intend to introduce new insurance products and expand GHA's network of physicians.
 -0- 8/5/93
 /CONTACT: Edward Segal for the Group Health Association, 202-333-7966/


CO: Group Health Association; Humana Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:

TW-MH -- DC009 -- 9753 08/05/93 09:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 5, 1993
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