A.M. Best Upgrades Credit Ratings of BEST Life and Health Insurance Company

OLDWICK, N.J.--()--A.M. Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to B+ (Good) from B (Fair) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “bbb-” from “bb+” of BEST Life and Health Insurance Company (BEST Life) (Austin, TX). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to stable from positive.

The rating upgrades reflect BEST Life’s evolving business strategy, improved near-term earnings and maintenance of a favorable level of risk-adjusted capital. Over the last few years BEST Life shifted its business strategy, exiting the unprofitable medical and stop loss lines of business to focus on primarily dental and ancillary lines of business. As the company began to exit these lines and shift to more profitable dental products, this improved its risk-adjusted capitalization. While the level of absolute capital remains relatively modest, BEST Life has experienced a growth trend over the last few years. Supporting this capital growth are the near-term earnings, which have improved, driven by the profitability in the dental line of business.

Offsetting rating factors include a lack of product and geographic diversification as the vast majority of the company’s net premium is derived from the dental line of business and over one-half is derived from six states. Additionally, the dental market is highly competitive with larger carriers able to bundle dental with their core products, potentially resulting in pricing pressure and membership losses. Furthermore, there is some uncertainty in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, which could negatively impact BEST Life’s top line.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

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Contacts

A.M. Best
Craig Draghi, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5164
Financial Analyst
craig.draghi@ambest.com
or
Jeffrey Lane, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5567
Senior Financial Analyst
jeffrey.lane@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
Director, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com

Contacts

A.M. Best
Craig Draghi, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5164
Financial Analyst
craig.draghi@ambest.com
or
Jeffrey Lane, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5567
Senior Financial Analyst
jeffrey.lane@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
Director, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com