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S&P upgrades Kaiser Foundation Health Plan

S&PGlobal Ratings raised its long-term counterparty credit and financial strength ratingson Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.and its core operating subsidiaries to AA- from A+.

The outlookis stable.

S&Psaid the ratings on Kaiser are based on the company's robust financials and itsunique niche as the nation's model for integrated delivery care and financing systems.S&P credit analyst Anthony Beato said in a news release that the upgrade primarilyreflects the company's outperformance of the rating agency's expectations as measuredby top-line revenue and membership growth. The upgrade further reflects S&P'sview that the company continues to outperform its peers in overall revenue diversificationaided by its hospital subsidiaries generating significant copayment, deductibleand government payment activity.

The stableoutlook on Kaiser Permanente's insurance operations reflects S&P's continuedview of the company's very strong competitive position as the nation's leading modelof integrated care delivery, its stable track record of operating results and itsextremely strong capitalization.

S&P Global Ratingsand S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.