The Latest: Presbyterian tops list for unpaid taxes
Oct. 24, 2017
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on New Mexico's efforts to trace unpaid taxes by insurance companies (all times local):
A newly released audit places Presbyterian Health Plan at the top of a list of 17 insurance companies with unpaid taxes that are owed to the state of New Mexico.
Records released by the New Mexico Office of the State Auditor on Tuesday to the Associated Press show a $28.9 million underpayment of taxes at the for-profit arm of Presbyterian Healthcare Services since 2003.
The audit could weigh in efforts by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas to recover millions of dollars in alleged unpaid taxes from Presbyterian Health Plan. Office of the State Auditor spokeswoman Justine Freeman says the lawsuit by state prosecutors relates to about $14 million in estimated underpayments.
Other insurance companies with large estimated tax underpayments include Health Care Service Corporation that oversees BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico, Molina Healthcare, Amerigroup and Lovelace.
An audit of unpaid insurance premium taxes shows that nearly $65 million is owed to the state of New Mexico by 17 insurance companies.
State Auditor Tim Keller released Tuesday the results of the audit of tax payments by 30 insurers from 2003 to 2016.
It found multimillion-dollar tax debts linked to erroneous overpayment credits. Health insurance companies improperly applied credits for support of a medical insurance pool for people who are denied insurance or considered uninsurable.
Keller said the audit lays the groundwork for the state to move forward with collecting overdue taxes and preventing future underpayments.
The audit could weigh in efforts by Attorney General Hector Balderas to recover millions of dollars from a for-profit insurance arm of Presbyterian Healthcare Services. Defendant Presbyterian Health Plan has denied wrongdoing.