SPOTLIGHT: Top insurers made $12B in profits

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) alleges that the nation's top five health insurers--UnitedHealth, WellPoint, Aetna, Humana and Cigna--made nearly $12 billion in profits last year, making them more profitable than the top five firms in the energy, construction, aviation, motor vehicle and parts manufacturing industries, The Hill’s Healthwatch reports. Three of the insurers padded their profits by more than $3.5 billion by boosting premiums. Meanwhile, Aetna and WellPoint inflated their profits by $800 million by spending less on medical care. However, AHIP downplayed the report, saying industry profit margins have been generally declining since 2005, adding that the insurers' average profit margins of 4.9 percent are slim compared to pharmaceutical companies (16 percent) and the entire healthcare sector (21 percent). Article

Suggested Articles

Blues plans have reportedly agreed to a $2.7 billion antitrust settlement.

Premera Blue Cross will pay $6.9 million to HHS over a data breach six years ago that exposed 10 million people's health information.

HHS and the FDA finalized a rule that enables states to seek approval to re-import certain drugs from Canada for a cheaper price.