HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that overall net income nearly doubled for Oregon health insurers during the first six months of 2005 compared with the same time the year before. According to the latest issue of Oregon & Washington Health Plan Analysis, health plan income in Oregon rose from $42.2 million to $74 million, an astounding 75 percent boost.
"Whenever there's an unusual departure from expected health plan revenues, either up or down, people want an explanation," said Don Mooradian, HealthLeaders-InterStudy analyst. "And there's no shortage of possible reasons for the income increase. Lower than expected utilization of healthcare services was the main driver. Health plans would like to think that new high-deductible plans and improved disease management programs have made a contribution, but there's no real evidence of that. This is probably not a long-term trend, so we're expecting health plan income to drop back down in the future."
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon increased its net income by $28.5 million -- from $19.5 million at June 2004 to $48.0 million at June 2005 -- based on approximately $874 million in premium revenue from January to June 2005, which includes 3.2 percent of revenue from operations in Washington. Regence's income made a large contribution to the overall increase.
By contrast, Washington health plans showed much smaller gains, with a four percent increase in net income for the first two quarters of 2005 compared with the same period in 2004.
Other health plan news in Oregon and Washington: * Washington providers are participating in a pilot project allowing seniors with chronic illness to have their medical conditions monitored by remote devices. * Health Net is entering Washington with a PPO product. About Health Plan Analysis
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