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Minn. health insurance companies see smaller profits as spending rises

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Minnesota health insurers saw profits last year that were about one-third of their 2011 levels. A boost in health care spending left profit margins at less than one percent, but still allowed the companies to boost their reserves.

The numbers come from the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, the trade industry representing the state's biggest health insurers.

As the Pioneer Press reports, spending on patients in hospitals and emergency rooms increased 10 percent last year.

MPR notes that on a per person basis, statewide spending was up five percent. Some of the biggest increases were for chemical dependency, mental health, chiropractic care, and social workers.

The smaller profit still allowed the health plans to boost their reserves over $3 billion.

Here's the announcement from the Council of Health Plans.

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