Jul. 4—The coronavirus pandemic and the economic upheaval it produced last year both trimmed the rolls of those insured by
But those extra costs were largely offset by a drop in elective surgeries and procedures during much of last year as hospitals shifted their focus and preventative measures made it harder to conduct business as usual at area hospitals and medical offices.
As a result,
The net income for BlueCross in 2020 was down 28.3% from the
BlueCross' profit margin of 1.9% last year on revenues of more than
But total revenues for BlueCross in 2020 were still up 1.1% from the previous year even though overall enrollment dropped around 75,000 due to the pandemic-related shutdowns and cutbacks of many jobs.
"2020 was certainly an unusual year and through that time we focused on improving the health of our members and being there for them in particular when they needed it most," said
BlueCross members saved
"If you look at the year as a whole, COVID-related care basically was the same as the amount of elective care that was not done due to restrictions, COVID protocols or people's own reluctance to pursue some procedures," Vaughn said. "On balance, they pretty much canceled each other out."
This year, the pent-up demand for medical care is rising again, boosting health care costs above what was forecast for the 3.4 million lives covered by the plans insured or administered by BlueCross of
To help hold costs in line, BlueCross decreased its merit pool available this year for its 6,576 employees, including 5,485 in
BlueCross also expects to make refunds this fall for the third time in the past couple of years to individual and small group employers who participated in the Affordable Care Act 's health exchanges last year.
Last fall, BlueCross gave a total of
PAYING TAXES, BUILDING RESERVES
BlueCross's reserves, which have built up over the company's 75-year history, have risen to
"These reserves are as important as ever as we face the COVID-19 pandemic together," BlueCross said in its annual financial report for 2020. "We are a not-for-profit, which allows us to earn lower margins but also brings a responsibility to maintain strong reserves."
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