Blue Cross Blue Shield NC announces merger with Oregon insurer

Henrietta Strickland
March 14, 2019

The two companies said the goal of the combination was to improve quality, lower costs and speed up the development of new services.

Patrick Conway, president and CEO of the North Carolina operation, will serve as CEO of the merged operation. "Patrick and I and our boards are convinced that we can bring more scale to the innovation that is required to transform the way health care is enjoyed by Americans". "Together, we have the power to accelerate transformation, be a model for what is possible and positively impact the lives of those we serve".

Cambia is the parent company of six health plans in four states, as well technology companies and a venture capital firm.

The affiliation builds on the two companies' shared values and cultures.

Blue Cross NC is bigger than Cambia, reporting $9.9 billion in revenue previous year and covering 3.7 million people. The two combined their venture capital arms in 2016 to launch investment company Echo Health Ventures to fund early-stage healthcare companies.

Like investing in doctors' groups and urgent cares.

Cambia isn't just a health insurer. The company is a national leader for innovation, technology and digital experience for consumers.

Blue Cross NC has an 85-year history of offering high-quality health insurance at a competitive price.

Ray said sharing management operations and administration makes sense because it provides cost synergies. The next largest insurer in the state, UnitedHealth Group, had about 9 percent market share.

Cambia and Blue Cross NC will enter into a long-term management services agreement, adopting best-in-class services from both companies.

Going forward, the Cambia board will be split between nine current Cambia board members and 10 people on the Blue Cross NC board. Blue Cross will retain its own separate board of trustees, and each company will keep their separate corporate structures and existing names.

As part of the deal both organizations will retain their separate, tax-paying, not-for-profit corporate structures and neither organization is purchasing the other.

Mark Ganz, the current CEO of Cambia, will become the executive chair of Cambia's board of directors. Conway will become Cambia's CEO. Headquarters will be in Durham, NC, and Portland, OR. Blue Cross' parent company, Health Care Service Corporation, operates health insurance plans in five states, including IL, and is based in Chicago. Through the transition to the strategic affiliation, members, employers and providers will continue to receive the same high-quality service they have come to expect.

Health Care Service Corporation was losing money as recently as 2015, when it reported a loss of $65.8 million. Cambia had revenue of about $6 billion on coverage of around 2.6 million people. To learn more about us, visit CambiaHealth.com or Twitter.com/cambia.

Though the costs of health insurance remain a worry for many IL residents, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of IL actually lowered average premiums for many of its plans for individuals who buy insurance through the Obamacare exchange this year.

The largest insurance company in North Carolina is expanding.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of IL is, by far, the dominant insurer in the state.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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