- Associated Press - Friday, October 20, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - It’s possible a standoff over millions of dollars in insurance premium taxes could be resolved now that New Mexico’s attorney general and the state’s largest health-care insurance provider are talking.

Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office confirmed Friday the parties are in settlement discussions and look forward to resolving the case for the good of the state.

The attorney general’s office says it hopes to avoid a lengthy court battle.

Prosecutors had accused the for-profit insurance arm of Presbyterian Healthcare Services of using an illegal accounting procedure to avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes and surcharges on insurance premiums.

The insurance subsidiary, Presbyterian Health Plan, has denied the allegations. The company has argued in court filings that state insurance regulators reviewed and approved the company’s amendments to past tax payments.

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