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MEDCENTERS HEALTH PLAN ANNOUNCES STRONG 1991 FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

 MEDCENTERS HEALTH PLAN ANNOUNCES STRONG 1991 FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
 MINNEAPOLIS, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- MedCenters Health Plan today announced a 1991 surplus of 4.2 percent, down from 6 percent last year. While performance for the Health Plan was strong for 1991 at $14.8 million, the net surplus was almost 30 percent less than the previous year's $21.9 million.
 The downward trend in surplus is mirrored by a downward trend in premium increases. MedCenters rate increases for 1990 averaged 15.4 percent, in 1991 average increases were 14.6 and this year average increases are down to 10 percent.
 The largest single factor contributing to MedCenters 1991 surplus was $4.5 million in interest from investments. Other factors responsible for the strong performance include settlement of past due receivables, more efficient management fee agreement and better than expected utilization, especially in the areas of supplemental coverage including out of area coverage and prosthetics.
 "During the last year we've also made several improvements to better serve our members," said Kirby Erickson, MedCenters executive director. "We have restructured our customer service department to improve response time to inquiries and have expanded our public health education and worksite wellness programs as part of our Dedicated To Better Health initiative. We also have significantly expanded our provider network and introduced new, flexible products.
 "We're working hard to bring health care costs under control and the downward trend in premium increases is evidence of our success," said Erickson. "More importantly, we've brought this about while enhancing the services we offer and continuing our focus on quality of care."
 MedCenters continues to meet its state mandated reserve requirements of approximately $30 million, or one month's sum of expenses. In addition to the reserve requirements established by the State of Minnesota Legislature to ensure the solvency of the state's HMOs, MedCenters Board of Directors determined additional operating reserves were necessary.
 MedCenters Health Plan, founded in 1972, is the third largest health maintenance organization in Minnesota with more than 260,000 members. It is a network model health plan, selectively contracting with clinics and hospitals throughout the area to offer members a choice of high quality care through both general and specialty practice physicians. It is managed by Aetna Health Plans, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aetna Life Insurance Company.
 -0- 4/1/92
 /CONTACT: Julie Wohlford 612-371-5520, for MedCenters/ CO: MedCenterd Health Plan ST: Minnesota IN: INS SU:


KH -- MN011 -- 3945 04/01/92 14:25 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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