Blue Shield of California Reports Increased Enrollment
Blue Shield of California on Thursday reported that enrollment increased by 24% in 2004, the third straight year of membership growth, the Los Angeles Times reports (Vrana, Los Angeles Times, 5/20). Enrollment reached 3.3 million in 2004, with 641,000 new members.
The San Francisco-based health insurer reported net income of $334 million for 2004, up from $314 million in 2003. However, the company's net profit margin decreased from 5.1% in 2003 to 4.9% in 2004. Revenue increased from $6.2 billion in 2003 to $6.95 billion in 2004.
Administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue decreased from 14.3% in 2003 to 12.2% in 2004.
The company attributed about 500,000 of its new members in 2004 to a deal with Arizona-based Tri-West, a company co-owned by Blue Shield that provides TRICARE health services to military personnel and their families. Health Net previously provided health coverage to those beneficiaries.
In addition, sales of dental coverage increased by 40% in 2004, and vision sales increased by 150%.
Company officials said Blue Shield has been the fastest-growing health plan in the state since 2002, adding one million enrollees during the period (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 5/20).