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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Losses at Kaiser more than double

BY Greg Wiles
Advertiser Staff Writer

Financial losses more than doubled at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.'s Hawaii Region during the first three months of this year compared with the same period in 2009.

Kaiser, the state's No. 2 health plan, reported a net loss of $700,000 for the first quarter as operating expenses grew faster than revenue.

A year earlier the health maintenance organization had sustained a loss of $300,000.

The carrier said it was satisfied with the results given the economic downturn in Hawai'i and Kaiser's ongoing commitment to providing quality healthcare at a competitive price.

The health plan also reported:

• Operating revenue rose by $4.8 million compared with a year previous, coming in at $238.4 million.

• Operating expenses grew by $5.5 million to $240.7 million.

• Kaiser's operating loss, or revenue minus expenses, was $2.3 million. A year earlier the loss was $1.6 million.

• Higher investment income this year helped blunt the loss. Kaiser earned $1.6 million on its investments during the first quarter, or $300,000 more than a year earlier.

Kaiser also reported a 2.4 percent jump in membership totals when compared to the 2009 first quarter.

The health plan reported that it ended the first quarter with 227,300 members.

That was 5,430 more than a year earlier.

Kaiser said some of the growth came as large commercial group customers and their employees looked for value. Member gains included those from the Hawai'i Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund.

The state's largest health insurer, the Hawaii Medical Service Association, is expected to report a loss when it issues its first quarter financial results today.