Pioneer Press, April 5, 2011
Operating profit from state health insurance programs for low-income Minnesotans surged by about one-third in 2010, helping push surpluses for HMOs and related insurance subsidiaries in the state to $2.5 billion. The profit numbers likely will inflame the debate at the state Capitol, where legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton are looking at the health plans as potential piggy banks as they try to resolve the state's $5 billion budget deficit. Health plan operating income from the state health programs came in at $130.8 million last year, up from $98.7 million in 2009, according to numbers from the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, a trade group for the HMOs. The figures don't include investment income, which likely would have pushed the tally higher.