Blues plans earned up to $1B in 2011

Several Blue Cross Blue Shield plans have reported their 2011 earnings, with the largest reporting more than $1 billion in net income.

For the second straight year, Health Care Service Corp. (HCSC), the parent company of Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, reported a net income of more than $1 billion, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

HCSC's net income jumped 10 percent to $1.2 billion in 2011 from about $1.1 billion in 2010, and its total revenue rose 2 percent to $19.9 billion.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan also reported its earnings, saying it made $40 million in net income for 2011 with $20.4 billion in revenue. Although Michigan's largest insurer also lost $49 million on its underwritings, it still improved upon its $73 million loss in 2010, reported the Detroit News. "We are doing what our stakeholders expect, which is run a successful, nonprofit health insurance business," CEO Daniel Loepp said. "Blue Cross is posting small margins while maximizing our investment returns to take pressure off health insurance premiums."

The Michigan Blues also saw its first increase in membership since 2008, growing 1.4 percent to 4.4 million members in 2011, which likely was a result of its new lower-priced insurance products. The insurer also reported paying CEO Loepp $3.27 million in total compensation last year, an increase from his $2.75 million pay in 2010, the Detroit News noted.

Additionally, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina reported $177 million in net income, which was a 5 percent increase from its 2010 income of $168 million. North Carolina's largest insurer also made $5.5 billion in revenue and reported a 3.2 percent profit margin for the year, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

The North Carolina insurer paid CEO Brad Wilson $1.8 million in total compensation, a slight decrease from both 2010 and 2009.

To learn more:
- see the Crain's Chicago Business article
- check out the Charlotte Business Journal article
- read the Detroit News article

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