Profits outpace costs...2.2 billion in cash state...BD 

Private insurance companies are getting richer in Washington while fewer people are receiving coverage, according to a study released by two community organizations Thursday.image

The Washington Community Action Network and Northwest Federation of Community Organizations found that the rate between profit growth and people covered is out of alignment among the state's top three insurance companies.

The combination of Regence BlueShield, Premera Blue Cross and Group Health Cooperative saw profits go from $11 million in 2002 to $243 million in 2003 and $431 million in 2006. Cash surplus among the three was $833 million in 2002 and $2.2 billion in 2006.

Comparatively, in 2002 the carriers covered 2.37 million people, based on full-year coverage, which declined to 1.97 million in 2006, a 16.9 percent decline.

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