Four MN HMOs Cap 2011 Earnings at 1%

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, HealthPartners, Medica, and UCare have agreed to place a 1 percent cap on 2011 profits from state health care contracts.

Four leading health care providers that run the state's medical insurance programs have agreed to cap 2011 earnings at 1 percent of their profits.

That means that any earnings that exceed 1 percent of the companies' revenues from the programs in 2011 will be turned over to the state's general and health care access funds.

Governor Mark Dayton and Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson on Tuesday announced that they reached an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, HealthPartners, Medica, and UCare through which the health care providers will place a 1 percent cap on profits for 2011 managed care contracts.

“I applaud UCare, HealthPartners, Medica, and Blue Cross Blue Shield for their civic responsibility in recognizing the state's dire financial condition and helping to reduce our rising health care costs,” Dayton said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Dayton's office was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday, but a report by the Pioneer Press indicates that the four companies, which operate as nonprofits, manage care in the state's Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare health insurance programs.

“In the short term, we have a budget challenge and I appreciate our state health plans helping to address that shortfall,” Jesson said in a news release.

News of the voluntary earnings cap follows the reporting of the health care providers' 2010 earnings. The health plans together reported profits of 3.8 percent on their 2010 contracts for taxpayer-funded health programs-up from 2.6 percent in 2009.