To the editor:

We at EQUICOR feel the future of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) in Utah is more optimistic than was suggested by an article in the June 23 Deseret News ("HMOs lose money, but officials aren't declaring crisis yet").EQUICOR Health Plan of Utah has been very positively received by Salt Lake City area employers since the plan's opening two years ago. With membership increasing steadily, EQUICOR Health Plan of Utah expects to achieve profitability early next year - which is right on track with our initial expectations.

EQUICOR developed an HMO to serve Salt Lake City employers because our market assessment indicated that, after a predictable start-up investment, a managed care system designed to help control benefits costs while still proving high-quality health coverage could be profitable. We are confident that EQUICOR Health Plan of Utah will continue to meet our expectations.

Stanley I. Aronovitch

Senior Vice President & General Manager

Western Region