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Blue Cross Reports 37% Rise in Net Income

Blue Cross of California, extending its recent pattern of steady earnings growth, reported third-quarter net income of $36.8 million, up 37% from $26.8 million a year earlier.

The Woodland Hills-based health insurer technically does not earn profit because it is a nonprofit organization. But the gains nonetheless enable Blue Cross to add larger sums to its reserves against future claims.

Indeed, Blue Cross said it added $131.4 million to its reserves in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to an addition of $66.6 million in the first nine months of 1990. The company’s third-quarter earned premiums--an industry gauge of operating revenue--rose 6% to $588.9 million from $553.7 million a year earlier.

For the first nine months of 1991, Blue Cross’s net income soared 73%, to $122.5 million from $70.7 million a year earlier, and its nine-month earned premiums rose 9%, to $1.74 billion from $1.59 billion.

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