Mass. health insurers’ earnings fall off
Operating income takes a hit in quarter; Firms cite pressure to control premiums
After registering higher earnings in 2011, the state’s nonprofit health insurers posted falling operating income - and in two cases, operating losses - for the first quarter as they handled more medical claims. The early months of the year typically bring more claims. People delay elective procedures until after the holidays and insurance companies have to make payments for supplemental Medicare policies until members meet their deductibles and government funding kicks in. But another factor affected finances in the first quarter: pressure to hold down premiums.