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Insurer has $1.25 million unclaimed

Univera Healthcare and parent Excellus Health Plan have more than $1.25 million in checks from 2008 for nearly 12,000 individuals and companies in New York State that will be turned over to the state if they are not claimed by the end of August, the companies said Monday.

Rochester-based Excellus, which owns Excellus BlueCross and Blue-Shield, as well as Univera, said it is seeking the owners of the so-called "forgotten funds," which were issued four years ago to members and medical providers but have not been claimed or cashed.

Under state law, insurers must make a list every year of unclaimed checks that are at least 3 years old and then post the names in legal notices in local newspapers in an effort to find the owners. Otherwise, the money is turned over to the state comptroller.

"This is money that was paid for claims or refunded premiums. If the money remains unclaimed, it will go to the state," said Univera President Art Wingerter. "It rightfully belongs to our members or providers, and we want to make sure they have one more chance to claim it."

For a full list of people and companies with checks to claim, and instructions on how to do so, go online to Checks will not be mailed to claimants until after Aug. 31.