BOSTON (SHNS) – The net worth of health insurance plans in Massachusetts swelled during the pandemic years, as ratepayer premiums have continued to climb and more and more Bay Staters have opted into high-deductible plans.

As of December 2022, Massachusetts health insurance companies’ statutory net worth exceeded $6 billion, representing a 20 percent increase from 2019 to 2022 and a 34 percent cumulative increase since 2018, according to a recent report from the Massachusetts Hospital Association.

The health plans say their increasing net worth is partially thanks to some good years in the stock market, and that surpluses and reserves are important for stability in uncertain times — especially after insurers gave payers breaks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall profitability at acute care hospitals in Massachusetts was also on the rise in the most recent data available, for hospital fiscal year 2021, which for most hospitals ran through September 2021. The state Center for Health Information and Analysis reported hospital profitability increased 2.6 percentage points compared to the prior hospital fiscal year.

The fiscal status and outlook varies from hospital to hospital, and health systems that serve disproportionate numbers of patients on Medicaid have saidthey are struggling.

Meanwhile, premiums have increased at a faster annual rate than both wages and regional inflation. Premiums increased at an annualized rate of 4.7 percent between 2019 and 2021, CHIA reported. The claims covered by payers and employers increased 5.7 percent.