Premera Blue Cross

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Premera Blue Cross
Not-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. 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 2 million people. Premera Blue Cross has operated in Washington since 1933, and in Alaska since 1957. Premera Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.[1]


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]

In October 2014, Jeff Roe replaced Gubby Barlow as CEO of Premera.[4]

On May 5, 2015, Premera experienced a security breach, possibly leaking the private information of 11 million of its members. [5]


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.[6]


  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. ^ Helm, Leslie (February 2015). "Seattle Business Magazine". Seattle Business Magazine.
  5. ^ Krebs on Security (2015-03-18). "Premera Blue Cross Breach Exposes Financial, Medical Records". KrebsonSecurity.
  6. ^ Ostrom, Carol M. (February 8, 2012). "3 Big Health Insurers Stockpile $2.4 Billion As Rates Keep Rising". The Seattle Times.

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