Our Financial and Business Information
Taxes, Fees, and Assessments
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is one of 36 independent, community-based, and locally operated health plans in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
We are a not-for-profit company, but unlike most other not-for-profits, we pay significant federal, state, and local taxes or assessments. We are also different from other not-for-profits in that we don't receive or solicit charitable donations, and we don't benefit from tax-exempt financing.
In 2017, our company paid over $185 million in federal, state, and local taxes and assessments.
*Insurers pay a premium tax, which is the insurance equivalent of corporate taxes.
Paying taxes and fees isn't the only way we contribute to the economy of our state.
The Importance of Reserves
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts holds reserves to help ensure that we can meet our financial obligations, especially paying for the health care needs of our members.
These reserves, which are required by law, provide us the necessary resources to moderate premium increases for our members, and allow us to invest in technology and systems that help us become more efficient in serving the needs of our members and employer customers.
Our current level of reserves, adjusted for seasonality, is comparable to:
- Three to four routine office visits for each member, or one emergency room visit
- 45-50 days of coverage of typical medical claims and administrative expenses for each member
How Much of a Premium Goes Toward Paying for Care?
Health plans in Massachusetts are held to the highest standards in the nation with respect to limiting how much they can spend on their own administrative expenses. At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, that means that approximately 90 cents of every premium dollar we receive goes toward purchasing health care services for our members, exceeding both state and national standards. This is often called the Medical Loss Ratio.
How We Compare
*Numbers are approximate and vary slightly from year to year.