The Blue Cross shell game
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina put out a sad press release yesterday to bemoan that it only made $100 million in profit last year.
The insurer never publicly releases any income figures (you have to get the information from the Department of Insurance) so the change in practice is certainly fishy. Most likely, Blue Cross wants to blunt criticism that it is raising rates by more than 50 percent on some consumers by arguing that it didn’t make that much money last year.
The trouble is that Blue Cross released a statement but no earnings. It is completely worthless for the company to give the public net income without any other information. What, for example, was the operating profit? What were the investment earnings or losses? We don’t know.
And without that information we don’t know anything about the company’s financial situation.