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Highline: Health Profits Lag Behind Revenue

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U.S. health insurers found that revenue increased faster than net income in 2007.

Researchers at Highline Data, Cambridge, Mass., a unit of Summit Business Media L.L.C., New York, have reported that finding in an analysis of the data that 110 health industry groups and 354 non-affiliated insurers have reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., and the California Department of Managed Health Care.

Revenue at the health insurers increased 8.7%, to about $405 billion, and net investment income increased 8.5%, to $6.3 billion.

The number of members rose 5.4%, to 212 million.

But net income increased only 3.1%, to $17 billion, or about $79 per member.

WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis, led the industry in terms of size. It had 18 million members in 2007 and $49 billion in revenue, and $3.3 billion in net income, the Highline Data researchers report.

The figures come from Highline Data’s Insurance Analyst PRO online insurance industry data retrieval and analysis system.

Highline Data is a sister company of National Underwriter Life & Health and of the NU Online News Service.