NU Online News Service, Nov. 9, 3:17 p.m. – Trigon Healthcare Inc., Richmond, Va., a health insurance company, is reporting $16 million million in net income for the third quarter on $733 million in revenue, compared with $34 million in net income on $666 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2000.

The latest earnings figures include $37 million in losses on investments sold or re-valued during the quarter, up from $2.5 million in realized investment losses for the comparable quarter in 2000′

Operating income, which excludes taxes and investment losses, increased to $38 million, from $30 million, Trigon says.

Trigon holds Blue Cross and Blue Shield licenses for Virginia. It sells commercial medical insurance and insurance for members of government health plans, and it also provides administrative services for self-insured health plans.

Enrollment in all major medical programs reached 2.1 million Sept. 30, up 6% from a year earlier, and enrollment in insured programs increased 7%, to 1.1 million.

Premium revenue averaged $492 per insured health plan member, up 9%. Health care costs are also continuing to rise, because of increased use of physician and outpatient hospital services, and purchases of higher-priced medications, Trigon says.

Trigon customers are still moving toward health plans with richer benefits, but Tom Snead, chief executive of the company, suggests in the earnings release that employer groups may shift back toward lower-premium plans if medical costs and health plan premiums continue to rise.