Profits at the nation's 42 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans climbed 43% overall in 2002, while total enrollment reached the highest level since 1981 at 85.3 million people. Blues membership was 86 million in 1981. The 43% growth in combined profits, to $4 billion, follows a 40% increase in 2001, to $2.8 billion, according to the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Overall revenue rose 14% to $162.8 billion. Profits accounted for 2.4% of premium revenue, medical claims for 87% and administrative costs for 10.6%. The plans' collective surplus reached $24.5 billion, up 10% from $22.3 billion in 2001 and 20% from $20.6 billion in 2000. Membership was distributed 50% in PPOs, 23% in indemnity plans, 19% in HMOs and 8% in point-of-service plans. -- by Laura B. Benko
Blues plans continue gains in profits, membership
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