Health Insurer To Refund Millions And To Cap Profits For Policyholders

Blue Shiled of California announced that it will refund millions of dollars in profits to its customers after it realized profits greater than expected.  The company also announced it will cap profits at 2%, after its profits soared to 3.1%.  The health insurers' higher than expected profits resulted from its investments, and less claims payments after policyholders sought less medical treatment last year.  

Blue Shield of California is a non-profit insurance company.  Blue Shield's refund to their policyholders totals $167,000,000.00.  The huge refund is likely to be a public relations bonanza for the company.  An unintended consequence of the company's action may be to to fuel public awareness that the high cost of health insurance is producing huge profits for the health insurance industry.  For-profit insurance companies, unlike Blue Shield of California, are required to meet Wall Street's expected earnings and profits margins in order to satisfy their shareholders.

Carefirst Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente, two of the biggest insurers in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia had no comment regarding whether they had similar profits and whether they will refund moneys to their policyholders.  

The reality is that despite what you've heard about the supposed "insurance crisis", and the need for civil justice tort reform (victims rights lawsuits), insurance companies continue to announce record profits for their shareholders. Think about this story each time you (or your employer) pay your monthly insurance premiums, or when you write checks for your co-payments to the doctors each time you get medical care.  And don't forget this article when you consider the cost to you and your family for your deductibles and prescription drug payments. 
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