Mixed Financial Picture For MA Insurers

This article is more than 11 years old.

The Boston Globe today previews a new report on the financial health of the state's top insurers.

By at least one measure, things appear to be rosy:

The state’s eight health insurers finished 2008 with a total surplus of $2.5 billion, a more than four-fold increase from 1999 when the study period began, according to a 17-page executive summary of the report from the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy that was obtained by the Globe.

But a "more complete accounting measure" shows that the state's largest insurer is less financially stable, the Globe reports:

When the report uses a more complete accounting measurement to examine the companies, one that also takes into account each firm’s liabilities and investments, the state’s largest insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, ended the period on a significantly less firm financial footing. That measurement, known as a risk-based capital ratio, shows Blue Cross’s health slipping by about a third.

By the same measurement, the financial strength of the state’s second-largest insurer, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, more than doubled, and the state’s third-largest, Tufts Health Plan, more than tripled. Fallon Community Health Plan, the fourth-largest, notched a more modest 50 percent.

This program aired on May 3, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.