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What's the functional difference between Blue Cross/Blue Shield and for-profit insurance companies

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:11 PM
Original message
What's the functional difference between Blue Cross/Blue Shield and for-profit insurance companies
That is, are their premiums lower, are their benefits different, do they treat customers differently?
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avaistheone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
1.  BC/BS are made up of both profit and non-profit health insurance providers.
Edited on Mon Aug-17-09 07:16 PM by avaistheone1
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. According to wikipedia, their franchises are run both by for-profit and non-profit organizations.
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avaistheone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. Blue Cross Blue Shield is not affordable insurance if you are paying out of pocket for it and are
50+ years old.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. From wikipedia
"Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield insurance companies are franchisees..."

"Many plans are administered by not-for-profit organizations, while others are for-profit companies. (Though all Blue Cross Blue Shield plans must pay Federal income tax under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, some plans are still considered not-for-profit at the state level.) The 14-state WellPoint is the largest Blue Cross Blue Shield member, and is a publicly traded company."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Cross_and_Blue_Shield...
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
3. Bc/BS is a for profit insurance company.
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. BCBS is an association of 39 separate companies...
...over half of which are still not-for-profit.
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Ocracoker16 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. BC/BS is no longer non-profit
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I didn't know that. Does anyone have an opinion on before and after,
that is, did the non-profit entity treat customers better than the for profit entity?
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. Blue Cross/Blue Shield *was* non-profit, like the Rethugs want their co-ops to be.
They're all FOR profit now, just like those co-ops will be, too.

PUBLIC OPTION GOOD, SINGLE PAYER BEST!
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. There isn't a single entity "Blue Cross Blue Shield" anymore
there are a number (dozen or more?). Some retained their non-profit status, the others are run for profit now, just like the rest of the insurance industry.

As for the non-profits, I'm not sure. When my insurance carrier dropped me after I had heart surgery, I shopped around for replacement. BCBS of California made me the "best" offer... $10,000 deductible, $1200 a month and they would cover me (I believe with a lifetime cap too, but won't swear to it). That was 15 years ago. Been without health care (and insurance) ever since. I really hope I don't get sick.

Anyway, that doesn't answer your question. But my feeling is NO, BCBS isn't any better run in the non-profit version than in the for-profit version.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
9. BC/BS started out the way the co-ops they are describing did
In fact, this is basically the same idea being trotted out again, and if it passes they will probably be privatized like BS/BC was through a death-of-a-thousand-cuts of offering more "choice", "competition", and "efficiency" incrementally.
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-17-09 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
10. Over half of the BCBS companies are still not-for-profit and/or mutual companies.
There is a breathtaking amount of misinformation about that on this site.
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