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Stella and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Announce 2018 Financials

EAGAN, Minn., April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Stella, the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and a growing number of complimentary diversified businesses, today announced audited financial results for 2018. The organization ended the year with $13.1 billion in revenue, an increase of almost five percent year over year, with an operating loss of $14.1 million which represents a $50 million improvement year over year. 

"We experienced meaningful improvement in operating performance in 2018, as we stabilized our Medicaid business and completed our operating model transformation," said Craig Samitt, president and CEO of Stella and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. "While the risk of market volatility still exists, we believe we are very well positioned for the future in our commercial, government and diversified businesses."

For the year, Stella paid out $11.8 billion in medical claim payments, which represents approximately 90 cents of every premium dollar going directly to cover members' health care costs. Additionally, Stella paid more than $153 million in taxes, assessments and surcharges. Total member enrollment is in excess of 2.85 million members. 

Significant equity market pressure in the fourth quarter of 2018 drove material negative fair-market value investment adjustments, ultimately driving a net loss of $93 million.

In addition to these financial results, through its Social Impact program, Stella has achieved several milestones in the ongoing effort to create a future where all Minnesotans have opportunities to live the healthiest lives possible:

  • Contributing more than $17 million to community initiatives
    • $12.5 million in investments from the Center for Prevention, focused on programs that advance health equity; increase healthy eating and physical activity; and reduce commercial tobacco use
    • $3.1 million in grants from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, supporting organizations that foster safe and welcoming communities; increase the reach of high-quality early childhood programs; and help thousands of eligible people enroll in public health plans
    • $1.1 million generated in donation pledges from Blue Cross associates during the 2018 Community Giving Campaign, benefitting more than 650 charitable nonprofits
  • Volunteering 17,300 paid time-off hours across hundreds of community service initiatives
  • Diverting more than 254 tons of waste from landfills and decreasing the company's overall energy use footprint through environmental and recycling initiatives

"Improving health means focusing attention where health really happens — by and large outside the doctor's office," said Dr. Samitt.  "That's why we leverage our resources not only to improve clinical care, but to impact social determinants of health like income, community connections, housing, quality education and food security.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota leads wide-ranging social impact efforts that make an extraordinary contribution to every aspect of health in our state and beyond."

The 2018 Report to the Community can be found at socialimpact.bluecrossmn.com.

Blue Plus Financial Results
Blue Plus is a health maintenance organization (HMO) serving the individual market as well as the Prepaid Medical Assistance Program (PMAP), the state Medicaid program, and MinnesotaCare, the health program for low-income families.  Together, PMAP and MinnesotaCare saw continued stabilization of claims, the result of focused medical cost management efforts taking place across the organization. After two years of consecutive operating losses totaling over $205 million in the administration of these programs, Blue Plus reported operating earnings of $47 million for PMAP and MinnesotaCare in 2018.

Positive operating performance for individual market insurance products offered through Blue Plus continued a stabilization trend that began in 2017, driven by federal risk adjustment reimbursement and the Minnesota reinsurance program, which provided payments for the highest cost claims. In 2018, individual plans generated $55 million in operating earnings. These two years of positive operating performance follow a three-year span of losses in excess of a half a billion dollars. 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Financial Results
The lines of business served by Blue Cross in 2018 include small and large employer plans and a suite of Medicare offerings – Medicare Advantage, Platinum BlueSM (Medicare Cost); and MedicareBlue SM Rx (Medicare Part D). Collectively, Blue Cross posted an operating loss of $83 million. This loss was primarily due to capability investments related to a federally required transition from Medicare Cost to Medicare Advantage products in 66 Minnesota counties for 2019. The operational performance of the Medicare segment generated positive operating income and enrollment gains for the year, driven by the performance of Medicare Cost offerings in all 87 Minnesota counties.   

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in healthcare rankings, named Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota among the 2019 Best Insurance Companies for Medicare. Blue Cross earned the designation for Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, one of only two health plans in the country to earn top marks in both categories.

Future Outlook
"As the health care industry continues to face new challenges and opportunities, Stella and Blue Cross are on a journey to transform health care and deliver quality outcomes at the lowest cost to provide a differentiated experience for our members," said Dr. Samitt.  "We have a trusted relationship with millions of members, and we have a mission that's beholden not to shareholders, but to our members and communities."

AII d/b/a Stella serves as the holding company for all affiliates and subsidiaries, including the following regulated businesses associated with Blue Cross:

Aware Asset Management — a federally registered investment adviser that commenced operations on January 1st, 2018 with over $1.7 billion in assets under management as of December 31st, 2018.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota — A nonprofit health services company and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Blue Plus® A nonprofit HMO and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association that offers health plans and contracted provider networks throughout Minnesota to individuals and local, state and national groups.

MII Life Insurance, Inc., d/b/a FurtherSM (formerly SelectAccount®)— A third-party administrator of medical spending accounts included in consumer-directed health plans throughout the country. 

Blue Cross provides all information, reports and audited details as required by the State of Minnesota for both commercial and public program products. Detailed financial statements for the organization's regulated businesses are filed with the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

About Stella
Stella is a Minnesota-based company designed to nurture and scale differentiated businesses across the country to improve health in bold and innovative ways. Stella serves as the parent company for several entities that share a focus of making a healthy difference in people's lives, including the non-profit health insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and its subsidiaries, and diversified affiliate companies including Further and ClearStone Solutions, Inc. Go to stellahealth.com to learn more.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (bluecrossmn.com), with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.

 

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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; Stella