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Big health insurers' profits up 56% over 2008

Los Angeles Times, February 12, 2010

In 2009, the five largest health insurance companies racked up combined profits of $12.2 billion—up 56% over 2008, according to a new report by liberal healthcare activists. Based on company financial reports for 2009 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the report said, insurers WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Cigna Corp., Aetna Inc., and Humana Inc. covered 2.7 million fewer people than they did the year before. The report also said some of the five insurers cut the proportion of premiums they spent on their customers' medical care, committing relatively more to salaries, administrative expenses, and profit.