ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Operating profit from Minnesota health insurance programs for low-income residents increased by about one-third in 2010.

According to the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, a trade group for the HMOs, operating income from the state health programs came in at $130.8 million last year, up from $98.7 million in 2009.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the numbers push surpluses for HMOs and related insurance subsidiaries in the state to $2.5 billion.

Legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton are looking at the health plans as piggy banks as they try to resolve the state’s $5 billion budget deficit.

One HMO, Minneapolis-based UCare, said last month it would give back $30 million to the state in light of strong 2010 results. Dayton has asked others to follow suit.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (33)
  1. jimmy says:

    This is why we need a single payer plan.

  2. Jon says:

    Make them pay, for their abusive behavior on the average American I here VERMONT is trying single payer! Hope it works to bring down costs.

  3. BJ says:

    IMedicare for all!!!!

  4. Why Give it to Dayton says:

    They should not give it back to balance Dayton’s budget problems. ObamaCare is a joke and should be repealed. Health Insurance is not a right.

    1. Mike says:

      Why give it to Gov. Dayton? Because he is representing the state as an elected leader. Health reform is not a joke, it is a serious and needed program that benefits everyone in this society. We have a choice, we either include EVERYONE in an organized and responsible Health Care system or we allow EVERYONE to have Health Care through emergency room visits in an unorganized, and irresponsible manner that are more expensive and those with insurance are pay for it either way, but at a much higher rate!
      Health care should be a right for everyone. The last thing I want is sitting next to someone with TB, coughing in my face because they couldn’t get in to see a doctor before they started coughing up blood! “We the people”, deserve better then this.

    2. Fred says:

      So you believe that health care should be a make all it can sort of deal. Person is sick, got a choice, all your money or die. Check out that the CEO of United Health Care made 102 million in 2009
      in case you do not believe me.

      To use the Republican line. That 2.5 billion was YOUR money. They ripped it right out of your wallet

    3. Fred says:

      The state paid hmos to care for the poor. They did such a good job they kept them healthy to the tune of 2.5 billion in profit. HMO by law are non profit. . The state would follow what cares their received for the money. This would be done so they can figure out the next contract. No “why give it to Dayton” is the part that you have to think about. You have the right not to die. Sick enough the state safety net hospitals have to take care of you. The state would know how much the people spent in the hospital. By turning that money over to the HMO to take care of the patients they saved money. Health insurance may not be a right, but it is a darn good investment if it saves 2.5 billion! Why don’t people like you understand that if the people get sick enough, mandated health insurance or not, the hospital has to take care of them. It is cheaper to take care of the problem sooner. A $140 dollar office visit for a bad hacking up phlegm in buckets cold is less than a $4300 bill for three days in a hospital for pneumonia (no real clue on the actual amounts, but close enough for the point)
      The Dems sneaked a little proviso in the health care bill to beef up security on Medicare. 2.5 billion recovered. Another 60 billion to go

  5. JB says:

    Fred, Are you purposely trying to confuse people or just ignorant? Minnesota has this little law that states if you sell health in surance in Minnesota, you have to be NON PROFIT. So the story is about how all these non profits apparently ILLEGALLY made a profit. As for Mr. Hemsley, well he does run the second largest health insurance company in the nation, that DOES NOT DO BUSINESS IN MINNESOTA. So his salary is non of your business, but if you want facts look up how much of that is in stock versus actual pay. You may also want to look at his salary compared to company size compared to your local non profits. Then you can try to explain why these non profits are so bad?

    1. Fred says:

      Are you ignorant to the difference between Health Partners and Medica that have the clinics and Cigna or United which sell PPO insurance. The HMOs are non profit. United, Cigna are not. I work in health care and there are people with his insurance that I have to deal with. United does do business in this state. So the next time you would like to call some one ignorant look in the mirror.
      Berkley is at number 6 on the Forbes list of pay. 53 for efficiency, which would mean he is way overpaid.It doesn’t really matter stock or pay as it is compensation either way, something of value.
      As publicly traded company, the pay of the CEO is public. As a mutual fund may purchase, or I as an individual may purchase stock. It would be my business.

  6. R says:

    Whats up with giving the HMO health care money to the STATE BUDGET?

    Folks who paid the preimiums for health insurance have put this money in the HMO’s piggy banks.

    Why shouldn’t the money be returned to the folks who put the money in the piggy bank?

    i..e return the money to the folks who paiid the heallth insurance preminums!!!!!!!

    1. Ralph says:

      @r Operating profit from Minnesota health insurance programs for low-income residents increased by about one-third in 2010. First line of the story. The state paid the premiums.

  7. Victim Du Jour says:

    Save it, nothing wrong with keeping it in the bank.

  8. Citizen says:

    @Jimmy. You are absolutely right! We have a single-payer plan, now. It’s called Medicare. All that has to happen for the U.S. to have a single-payer plan is to get rid of the age limits of Medicare and allow all citizens of all ages to participate. Problem solved. Wonder why that’s not happening? Look at the profits here, and you have your answer.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE