NU Online News Service, Sept. 3, 3:16 p.m. – Overall U.S. health insurance company profits increased 25% in 2001, to $4.1 billion, according to Weiss Ratings Inc., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Profits at the nation’s 573 health maintenance organizations fell 7% from 2000, to $1 billion, but profits at indemnity health insurers, which often operate preferred provider plans as well as traditional indemnity plans, increased 54%, to $202 million.

Weiss found that Blue Cross Blue Shield plans as a group produced a $2.9 billion profit, or 70% of the industry’s net earnings.

Texas HMOs turned in the worst results. They reported a total loss of $477 million.

New York and California had the most profitable HMOs. New York HMOs posted $702 million in earnings, and California HMOs posted $611 million in earnings, Weiss says.