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Health Care Service Corp. headquarters in Chicago. Photo: Raymond Boyd / Getty Images

Health Care Service Corp., the parent company of Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers in five states, pulled in nearly $1.3 billion of profit in 2017 — which included large gains on its Affordable Care Act plans in the individual market. Crain's Chicago Business first reported the financials.

Why it matters: This builds on our previous reporting that many health insurance companies, like HCSC, fared quite well in 2017 despite the political wars in D.C.

By the numbers: $1.3 billion net profit on $32.6 billion of revenue in 2017 versus $106 million net profit on $30.3 billion of revenue in 2016.

  • These numbers don't include fees from self-insured employers that contract with HCSC.
  • HCSC had a $5.3 billion gross profit in 2017 (what it made from its health plan premiums before subtracting salaries, advertising and other costs), and $1.4 billion of that profit came from its ACA plans.
  • In 2017, the conglomerate spent $908 million on commissions for brokers who help sign people up for their plans and $41 million advertising its Blue Cross Blue Shield brands.

The big picture: HCSC and other insurers were able to make money on ACA plans by increasing their premiums to counter changes from the Trump administration; by limiting what hospitals and doctors ACA enrollees can see; and by enjoying a reprieve from an ACA tax.

Go deeper: HCSC's full 2017 financials.

Go deeper

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.