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How we’re sharing our tax savings with our customers

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a taxpaying not-for-profit company, which allows us to earn lower margins than our for-profit competitors. What you might not know is that we pay all the same taxes as our competitors. And over the past five years, we have consistently paid more in taxes than we’ve retained in net income each year.

In 2016, our local, state and federal taxes added up to $548 million.

BlueCross consistently pays more in combined local, state and federal taxes than it earns in net income (profit).

So you might be wondering, what does it mean for BlueCross to get a federal tax cut?

Returns for customers – not shareholders

Our for-profit competitors have reported they will pass the majority of their tax savings on to their shareholders. Those amounts range from 50-75 percent, depending on the company.

We don’t have shareholders, so our tax savings will benefit our customers. 
  • 75% will help offset increases in premiums and service fees for our customers
  • 25% will help us provide enhanced health management capabilities

Rising medical costs are the primary reason for rising health insurance premiums, and we are committed to using our tax savings to help our customers offset these higher costs.

Making it easier for members to manage their health

We all know health care can be complicated – from selecting a physician or facility to understanding how much a treatment might cost before committing to it.

That’s why we offer tools to help, from an interactive provider directory and treatment cost estimator to a member portal and mobile app. We also offer one-on-one support from care coordinators – who are usually registered nurses – when members have special needs, like after a hospital visit or when managing a chronic condition.

But we also know that our members’ expectations are being shaped by their experiences with retail companies, banks and innovators in other industries.

That’s why we’re investing 25 percent of our tax savings to help make our tools and services even better for our members and provider partners alike. By doing so, we’ll make it easier for our members to manage their health – and their health care.

Delivering on our mission

We’re as committed as ever to bringing peace of mind through better health to our customers and communities. Leveraging our tax savings on behalf of our customers is another important way to demonstrate that commitment.

About John Giblin, EVP and Chief Financial Officer

A photo of the authorJohn is responsible for the company’s financial stewardship on behalf of its 3.5 million members. He directs controllership and treasury duties, along with economic strategy and forecasting.

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