Premera Blue Cross

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Premera Blue Cross
Type Non-profit organization
Industry Health Insurance
Predecessors Washington Hospital Service, Medical Service Corporation, Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska
Founded April 4, 2000
Headquarters Mountlake Terrace, Washington, United States
Area served Primarily Alaska, Oregon and Washington
Products Health Insurance
Employees 3,200
Parent Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Subsidiaries

LifeWise of Oregon

LifeWise of Washington
LifeWise Assurance Company
Calypso Healthcare Solutions
Vivacity
Connexion Insurance (formally Ucentris)
Website https://www.premera.com

Premera Blue Cross is a nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield licensed health insurance company based in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, United States. It sells health insurance plans under the Blue Cross license in Washington state except Clark County and under both the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licenses in Alaska. It also has affiliate health insurance operations in Washington and Oregon under the Lifewise brand.

The company provides health insurance and related services to approximately 1.6 million people. Premera Blue Cross has operated in Washington since 1933, and Alaska since 1957. Premera Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.[1]

History[edit]

Premera was founded as Washington Hospital Service on May 5, 1945, and began operating in Alaska in 1957. On March 14, 1969, the company's name was changed to Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska.[2]

In 1994, Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska affiliated with Spokane's Medical Service Corporation, which had been founded in November 1933. In June 1998, the two organizations merged under the name Premera Blue Cross.

In 2002, Premera's executives first informed Washington commissioner Mike Kreidler of their intent to convert from a non-profit to a for-profit joint-stock company. After five years, the request was officially ended on March 5, 2007.

In October 2009, Premera waived deductible or co-pay for 2009-H1N1 vaccine fees for its fully insured members.[3]

Criticism[edit]

The Seattle Times published an article on Feb 9, 2012, alleging non-profit insurance outfits, including Regence, Premera and Group Health, are stockpiling billions of dollars in reserves while increasing their rates at the same time .[4] However, the article did not mention that the reserves kept on hand by the insurance companies is statutorily required.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Premera". 
  2. ^ "The Premera Blue Cross Story". Premera Blue Cross. Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  3. ^ Premera Blue Cross (2009-09-16). "Premera Eliminates Member Costs for H1N1 Vaccine". BusinessWire. 
  4. ^ Ostrom, Carol M. (February 8, 2012). "3 Big Health Insurers Stockpile $2.4 Billion As Rates Keep Rising". The Seattle Times. 

External links[edit]