Blues par­ent stops the bleed­ing, but at what cost?

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Kris­ten Schorsch, Crain’s Chicago Busi­ness

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.

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