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BlueCross By the Numbers

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a not-for-profit health plan founded in 1945. Today, we serve 3.4 million people across the state and around the country.

Here are a few fast facts about BlueCross:

  • Tax paying, not-for-profit company established more than 70 years ago
  • Serving 3.4 million members and 11,000 companies as the state’s largest health plan
  • Paying 85 million claims per year
  • Partnering with 20,000+ health care providers
  • Giving $10 million each year in charitable investments
  • Employing 6,000 professionals to fulfill this mission:
    Peace of Mind through Better Health 

How BlueCross performs

Learn more about our corporate performance, community impact, and diversity efforts by downloading our annual reports.

How BlueCross spends premium dollars

We retained just 1% of premiums as net income.

Medical care

In 2016, for every dollar we received in premiums and fees, we paid out 87 cents for medical care. That 87 cents on the dollar resulted in billions paid to doctors, hospitals and drug companies.

Taxes and operations

We spent another 4 cents on federal, state and local taxes. We spent 8 cents of every dollar on quality initiatives, provider support, broker commissions, marketing, maintaining compliance standards, processing claims and other administrative costs.


We retained around one cent of every dollar, which went into our reserve fund – more than 75 percent of which is required by state law.

Download our 2016 premium dollar graphic.

How strong reserves protect our members

Our 3.4 million members want and expect us to perform well operationally and financially. They want to know we have the financial means to cover health care claims regardless of the economy’s ups and downs. We’ve built our reserves over seven decades to provide peace of mind to our members.

Because we are not owned by investors, we have a unique ability to earn smaller profit margins – averaging 1.5 percent over the past five years – and a responsibility to maintain healthy reserves. This is especially important because we don’t have access to capital markets and cannot raise funds on an as-needed basis.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance requires that we maintain $1.7 billion in reserves to ensure BlueCross and its subsidiaries could pay all claims and sustain business, even in case of emergency, disaster or cyclical downturn of business. We have an additional $216 million in unassigned reserves.

  • $63 – the amount BlueCross holds per member in unassigned reserves (above what is legally required) 
  • 58 – the number of days that BlueCross’ minimum required reserves could cover members’ claims
  • 65 – the number of days that BlueCross’ total reserves could cover members’ claims

Download our 2016 financial performance overview.

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