In the first quarter alone insurers earned record profit while covering fewer people
May 27, 2010 -- Oregon’s eight largest domiciled insurers covered 160,000 less people and made more profit in the first quarter of this year then in any quarter in more than two years.
Leading the pack was Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, which shed 118,000 members from last year and raked in $29.2 million in net income so far this year alone. The figure shatters earnings over the entire last year of $21.9 million for Regence.
Most of Regence’s gains can be attributed to the stock market. The state’s largest commercial insurer posted net investment gains of $16.2 million, more than double the investment returns of any of its competitors.
All told, Oregon’s top eight commercial insurers made $64.7 million in net income in the first quarter of this year, more than three times what they earned this time last year. While at the same time, they covered 162,846 less people.
If current trends continue, Oregon insurers could earn more than $240 million this year up from $100.5 million last year
As for profitability, Providence ranked highest at 6.8 percent, taking home $8.8 million in profit out of more than $600 million in premiums. Regence recorded a profit margin nearly as high at 6.1 percent. Without a purported $29.8 million in claims adjustment costs, far higher than any comparable insurer, profits at Regence would have been much higher.
Overall profitability averaged 3.7 percent. The percent of money insurers spent on medical care hovered below 90 percent. Faring the worse was LifeWise, which recorded deficits of $1.7 million.
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