Blue Cross parent narrows losses in 2015

Health Care Service Corp., the Chicago-based parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in five states, reported a net loss of $65.9 million in 2015 compared to a loss of $281.9 million a year earlier, according to a Crain's Chicago Business report.

The health insurer is recouping from the financial hit it took on the Affordable Care Act exchanges a few years ago. After the ACA plans debuted, HCSC posted a $281.9 million loss in 2014 on $27.7 billion in revenue. Those numbers were a significant change from the $684.3 million surplus the health insurer recorded on $22.7 billion in revenue in 2013, according to the report.

To avoid further losses, HCSC adjusted its strategy. It increased the price of some health plans and cut others. For instance, HCSC eliminated its broad PPO plan in Illinois for the enrollment period that began last fall.

The changes HCSC made are working, as it shrunk its losses by about $110 million in just the last three months of 2015. It recorded revenue of $31.2 billion last year, up 12.6 percent from 2014.

More articles on payer issues:

CMS finalizes changes to ACA marketplace: 6 things to know
Fitch: Blue Cross hit hard by ACA losses
Major Oregon health insurers end 2015 with losses

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