Saturday, November 14, 2009
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
While premiums and claims held steady and investment income actually rose, operating income tumbled 85 percent to $8.1 million for the third quarter of 2009, versus $55.6 million for the same time period last year.
The HMO Blue division actually reported an operating loss for the third quarter, of 7.1 million, as opposed to net income of $29.8 million for the corresponding period in 2008.
Blue Cross officials blamed a variety of factors, including high claims from the newly insured under health reform, and increased utilization of health care due to the flu. The unusual flu season that extended through the spring and summer due to H1N1 resulted in increased office visits, greater use of diagnostic tests, and more prescriptions for antibiotics, officials said.
As of Sept. 30 the insurer had 2.97 million members.