Some Local HMOs Show Improvement

June 10, 2002
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The first quarter was financially bright for most Michigan health maintenance organizations, and that includes at least one local firm included in the survey.

Priority Health posted first quarter net income of $3.4 million with an underwriting gain of $2.4 million, according to the latest figures reported by the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services.

That compares with net income of $1.3 million with an $80,538 underwriting gain during the first quarter of 2001.

Too, Priority Health had 287,273 HMO members at the end of the first quarter, up 6.9 percent from a year ago.

Blue Care Network, the largest HMO in Michigan with nearly 534,000 members, was down from more than 572,000 members a year ago.

Meanwhile, the firm significantly trimmed its quarterly losses from 2001, posting a net loss of $1.79 million in the first quarter of 2002 with an underwriting loss of $4.0 million.

By comparison, in the first quarter of 2001, Blue Care Network — owned by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan — lost $14.6 million with an underwriting loss of $19.9 million.

Care Choices, the HMO owned by Trinity Health, parent company of Saint Mary’s Mercy Medical Center in Grand Rapids and Muskegon’s Mercy General Health Partners, recorded net income of $2.0 million with an underwriting gain of $1.4 million.

Care Choices, with nearly 130,000 members, lost $285,201 and experienced an underwriting loss of $872,463 in the first quarter a year ago.

Grand Rapids-based Grand Valley Health Plan, one of the smaller HMOs in Michigan with about 20,000 members, recorded net income of $273,432 with an underwriting gain of $346,991.

That compares to net income of $194,439 and an underwriting gain of $238,411 during the same period last year.

Community Care Plan, a Medicaid HMO owned by Grand Rapids-based Metropolitan Health Corp., posted net income of $273,368 with an underwriting gain of $228,332.

Community Care Plan, with about 33,000 members, made $108,875 a year earlier with a $25,774 underwriting gain.

Overall, 24 of the 28 HMOs operating in the state reported net income for the first quarter, the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services said. Eighteen of them improved profitability.

Collectively, HMOs reported net income of $18.3 million for the first three months of 2002, which compares to a combined net loss of $886,035 during the first quarter of 2001.

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