Blues parent stops the bleeding, but at what cost?
Health Care Service Corp., the parent of the largest insurer in Illinois, returned to profitability after two years of annual losses.
But last year’s rebound came at the expense of its individual customers. To reduce its costs, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield parent hiked premiums and limited which doctors and hospitals patients could see at discounted prices, known as in-network providers.
HCSC is the fourth-largest insurer in the nation by revenue and membership and is the market leader where it operates. In the company’s new annual financial statement, which details the majority of HCSC’s business, including employers and individual consumers who buy plans on and off the exchanges, net income totaled $106.3 million in 2016. That follows a $65.9 million loss in 2015 and a $281.9 million loss in 2014.
Still, the 2016 profit is just a tenth of the company’s $1.01 billion net income in 2012, financial records show.