Nonprofit health insurers' surpluses
Two of the state's three major health insurers -- all of which are nonprofits -- have accrued surpluses of more than $1 billion, even as health premiums have continued their steep rise. The third has more than $430 million.
Our office has repeatedly asked the state Legislature for the authority to consider health insurers' surpluses when determining if a rate request is reasonable, most recently with 2013's HB 1349 (www.leg.wa.gov). The legislation did not pass.
Surplus is different from an insurer's reserves
Reserves ensure that a company can pay future claims. Reserves are not part of a company's surplus. Surplus is what's left over after accounting for all foreseeable future claims and expenses.
Premera Blue Cross total capital and surplus - $1.1 billion
Regence Blue Shield total capital and surplus - $1 billion
Group Health Cooperative total capital and surplus - $431 million