Highmark Health posts $565M operating loss in 2015: 9 things to know

Pittsburgh-based Highmark Health, the parent company of insurer Highmark and Allegheny Health Network, recorded an operating loss of $565 million in 2015, compared to an operating loss of $178 million the year prior.

Here are nine things to know about Highmark's most-recent financials.

1. Highmark reported 5 percent growth in operating revenues year over year to $17.7 billion in 2015.

2. Its gains were offset by a $655 million loss on its government health plan business. Similar to other health insurers, Highmark officials said its Affordable Care Act exchange products sustained a high level of medical costs in 2015. The company reported a $34 million loss on its government health plan business in 2014.

3. Commenting on the loss, Highmark Executive Vice President and CFO Karen Hanlon said, "We are committed to stabilizing our ACA line of business and early 2016 indicators are positive as we have already achieved what we believe is an appropriate level of membership in our ACA individual plans."

4. Highmark recorded a gain of $217 million on its commercial health plans in 2015, up 538.2 percent from $34 million in 2014.

5. Highmark officials said the company experienced an overall member retention rate of 95 percent across all markets last year. Highmark and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to 5.2 million members in Pennsylvania.

6. On the provider side, Allegheny Health Network recorded a $36 million loss in 2015, compared to a loss of $37 million in 2014. The system saw an increase in inpatient and outpatient volumes last year.

7. Highmark's IT services company, HM Health Solutions, reported an operating gain of $7 million in 2015, up 75 percent from the year prior.

8. After accounting for $294 million in investment income and $249 million in net assets from the acquisition of Blue Cross of Northeast Pennsylvania, Highmark ended 2015 with a net loss of $85 million, compared to a net loss of $83 million the year prior.

9. "Highmark Health is pleased with our strong, consistent year-over year financial performance despite the impact of the ACA population," said David Holmberg, president and CEO of Highmark.

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