Premera Blue Cross

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Premera Blue Cross
TypeNot-for-profit organization
IndustryHealth Insurance
PredecessorWashington Hospital Service, Medical Service Corporation, Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska
HeadquartersMountlake Terrace, Washington, United States
Area served
Primarily Alaska, Oregon and Washington
ProductsHealth Insurance
Number of employees
ParentBlue Cross Blue Shield Association
SubsidiariesLifeWise of Oregon
LifeWise of Washington
LifeWise Assurance Company
Calypso Healthcare Solutions
Connexion Insurance (formally Ucentris)

Premera Blue Cross is a not-for-profit 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 of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licenses in Alaska.

The company provides health insurance and related services to approximately 2 million people.[1] Premera Blue Cross has operated in Washington since 1945, and in Alaska since 1957. Premera Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.[2]


Premera was founded as Washington Hospital Service in 1933,[3] and began operating in Alaska in 1957. In 1969, the company's name was changed to Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska.[3]

In June 1998, Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska merged with Spokane's Medical Service Corporation under the name Premera Blue Cross.[4]

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.[5] After five years, the request was officially ended on March 5, 2007.[6]

In October 2009, Premera waived deductible or co-pay for 2009-H1N1 vaccine fees for its fully insured members.[7]

On February 9, 2012 the Seattle Times published an article alleging non-profit insurance outfits, including Regence, Premera and Group Health, were stockpiling billions of dollars in reserves while increasing their rates at the same time.[8]

In October 2014, Jeff Roe replaced Gubby Barlow as CEO of Premera.[9]

On May 5, 2015, Premera experienced a security breach, possibly leaking the private information of 11 million of its members.[10] On July 11, 2019, Premera reached a settlement to pay $10.4 million over its failure to secure sensitive consumer data following the breach in 2015.[11][12]

In 2019, the company's board, according to the NAIC Quarterly Statement, included Connie Renee Collingsworth, a member of the leadership team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and John E. Jenrette, an executive at Cedars-Sinai.[13][14][15]

In response to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, Premera offered advance payments to health care providers amounting up to $100 million.[16]


  1. ^ Edelen, Amy (15 March 2020). "The Dirt: Premera Blue Cross, Vera Whole Health break ground on Vivacity Care Center in Spokane Valley | The Spokesman-Review". The Spokesman Review. Retrieved 2020-08-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "About Premera".
  3. ^ a b Heckman, Candace (2004-05-01). "Premera, MultiCare agree on new contract". Seattle Pi. Retrieved 2020-08-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Bjerken, LeAnn (20 October 2016). "Premera Blue Cross adopts new customer-service focus > Spokane Journal of Business". Spokane Journal of Business. Retrieved 2020-08-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "State rejects Premera Blue Cross' for-profit plan | The Seattle Times". Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  6. ^ "Premera Blue Cross abandons quest to switch to for-profit status". The Seattle Times. 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  7. ^ Premera Blue Cross (2009-09-16). "Premera Eliminates Member Costs for H1N1 Vaccine". BusinessWire.
  8. ^ Ostrom, Carol M. (February 8, 2012). "3 Big Health Insurers Stockpile $2.4 Billion As Rates Keep Rising". The Seattle Times.
  9. ^ Helm, Leslie (February 2015). "Seattle Business Magazine". Seattle Business Magazine.
  10. ^ Krebs on Security (2015-03-18). "Premera Blue Cross Breach Exposes Financial, Medical Records". KrebsonSecurity.
  11. ^ "Premera Blue Cross settles state data breach investigations for $10 million". CyberScoop. 2019-07-12. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
  12. ^ Thompson, Connie (2019-10-08). "That postcard in the mail about money from a Premera Blue Cross breach settlement is real". KOMO. Retrieved 2020-08-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "John E. Jenrette, MD". Cedars-Sinai. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  14. ^ "Quarterly Statement of the Condition and Affairs of Premera Blue Cross". Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  15. ^ "Premera Blue Cross: Board of Directors - Bloomberg". Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  16. ^ Campbell, Megan (8 April 2020). "Premera Blue Cross to award $100M in advanced payments to health care providers". Puget Sound Business Journal.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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