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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best upgrades Highmark, subsidiaries

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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best upgrades Highmark, subsidiaries

S&P Global Market Intelligence compiles ratings actions in the insurance space daily through 5 p.m. ET. Actions after 5 p.m. ET will be included in the following day's roundup.

Life and health

A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a" of New Zealand-based Union Medical Benefits Society Ltd., or UniMed.

The outlook of these ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect UniMed's very strong balance sheet, strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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S&P Global Ratings affirmed its ratings on Canada-based Great-West Lifeco Inc. and all of the company's core operating subsidiaries, including the A+ long-term issuer credit rating on Lifeco.

The outlook is stable.

The stable outlook reflects S&P Global Ratings' view that Lifeco's and its operating subsidiaries' business and financial risk profiles will remain excellent and very strong, respectively.

Managed care

A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength ratings to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings to "a" from "a-" of Highmark Inc., Highmark Choice Co., HM Health Insurance Co. and Highmark West Virginia Inc.

The agency also upgraded the financial strength ratings and the long-term issuer credit ratings of Highmark's life and health subsidiaries, which include HM Life Insurance Co. and HM Life Insurance Co. of New York, as well as its dental subsidiaries, to the same levels as their parent company.

The dental subsidiaries are United Concordia Cos. Inc., United Concordia Insurance Co., United Concordia Insurance Co. of New York, United Concordia Dental Plans of California Inc., United Concordia Dental Plans of Pennsylvania Inc. and United Concordia Dental Plans Inc.

A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of Highmark Casualty Insurance Co.

The outlook for all ratings remains stable.

The ratings reflect the group's balance sheet categorized as strongest, adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The ratings were upgraded due to the strengthening of Highmark's consolidated risk-adjusted capitalization and improved results at the integrated health system, the agency stated.

Multiline

S&P Global Ratings has affirmed its B+ long-term issuer credit and financial strength ratings on Kazakhstan-based Oil Insurance Co. JSC.

The outlook is negative. The agency also affirmed the kzBBB- national scale rating on the company.

The ratings were removed from CreditWatch with negative implications, where they were placed March 16.

The affirmation reflects S&P Global Ratings' expectation that the company can restore its competitive position in compulsory insurance in Kazakhstan in the next 12 months, following the removal of license restrictions in these segments on June 4.

The negative outlook suggests that the ratings can be lowered within the next 12 months if the company's capital adequacy weakens, its regulatory solvency ratio does not improve to comfortably above the required minimum or the regulator imposes additional restrictions that weigh on its business and financial risk profiles.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings. The original S&P Global Ratings documents referred to in this news brief can be found here and here.

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