NU Online News Service, Dec. 10, 2003, 10:54 a.m. EST – U.S. health maintenance organizations reported a total of $5.5 billion in profits in 2002, up from $3 billion in total profits in 2001, according to Weiss Ratings Inc., Jupiter, Fla.[@@]

Increases in rates and restructured policies helped several large HMOs double their 2002 profits, Weiss says.

Total profits at Medicare HMOs increased to $1 billion in 2002, from $463 million in 2001, and total profits at Medicare supplement insurers increased to $271 million, from $142 million, Weiss says.