A Message from CEO Leota Lind
It is no secret that health care has faced a number of challenges in the past couple of years. We health plans have found it increasingly difficult to meet the rapidly-changing demands of rising health care costs and shifting policies.
However, amid change and uncertainty, South Country Health Alliance is always committed to the health and well-being of our members. As a county-based purchasing health plan, we are owned by our counties and held accountable to our communities. We take that seriously.
Last year, we celebrated our 15th anniversary, an important milestone in our history. For 15 years, we have served our members, and we are proud of that commitment.
Since the beginning, we have continuously looked for opportunities to provide even better service to South Country members. Our community partners have played an essential role in helping us adapt and grow in the face of change. We are fortunate to have passionate providers and partners in county public health and human services who share our commitment to members and improving health care in rural communities.
Without our community partners, South Country could not provide the excellent level of service and quality that we do. By working together as a team, we earned high performance scores in several quality and satisfaction measures, which is best reflected in our 4.5 out of 5 Medicare star rating for SeniorCare Complete last year.
Not only are we committed to providing quality services to members, but we also make an extra reinvestment in the communities where you live and work. Our Community Reinvestment Grant program supports several initiatives led by our community partners. They have already made a significant impact on improving health outcomes in their communities. Some projects even earned statewide recognition for their efforts, including the Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award, Rural Health Team Award, and Pinwheels for Prevention Award. We couldn’t be more proud of the good work being done in our communities.
Additionally, our relationship with local and state legislators is becoming more important, as their influence shapes health care in Minnesota. This year, I met with many of the legislators who represent a South Country county to talk about county-based purchasing and our impact on health care in rural communities. I was pleased with our discussions and look forward to continuing to work with them.
No matter what changes lie ahead, know that you have a dedicated team at South Country Health Alliance and in your community who works every day to put your needs first. Whether you are brand new to the plan or have been a member for years, I want to thank you for trusting us as your health plan.
Financial Statement Summary
South Country Health Alliance had a challenging year financially in 2016. Increased costs for health care claims, combined with establishing a reserve for future losses on some programs, contributed to a net loss of $10.2 million for the year. Despite this outcome, South Country’s financial position remains strong—an important factor for the ongoing protection of our members.
South Country receives its revenue from the Minnesota Department of Human Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services based on membership. We use this revenue to pay for our members’ medical expenses. In 2016, South Country was charged $226.3 million for members’ health care expenses. This was 89% of total expenses. The remainder was spread between claim adjustment and cost containment expense, general administrative expense, and a reserve for future losses.
South Country had nearly $24.6 million set aside in claim liability reserves on our balance sheet on 12/31/2016 for future member medical benefit payments. In addition to these reserves, South Country had Capital and Surplus of $20.4 million, which exceeds the statutory net worth requirements of the State of Minnesota.
Complete audited financial statements are available upon request.