Mid-Atlantic Region's CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Finds Success in Small/Mid-Size and Self-Insured Markets
"Insurers in Maryland have a hard time distinguishing themselves fromcompetitors on price because the state requires that all insurers payhospitals about the same rate for each procedure," said Jan Shuxteau, analystwith HealthLeaders-InterStudy and author of the report. "One way thatCareFirst has succeeded in this market is by providing service to self-insuredcompanies that are not under state mandates."
According to the report, nearly 1.58 million people are enrolled inself-insured plans in Maryland. Of that group, about 44 percent are in aCareFirst plan. In Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia, CareFirst has acombined self-insured membership of more than 896,000 as of January 2008.
On the financial side, CareFirst's premium revenue increased by nearly11 percent from 2006 to 2007, from $5.28 billion to $5.86 billion, while netincome rose by almost 10 percent, to $180.5 million.
Serving about 3.1 million members in Maryland, northern Virginia and theDistrict, CareFirst is not only the largest healthcare insurer in the area,but it also is a large employer with more than 5,400 employees in theMid-Atlantic region. Additionally, CareFirst serves more than 540,000 membersof the Federal Health Benefits Program.
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