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?
Under state and federal law, health plans are required to spend a significant portion of each premium dollar on the medical care of their members. This is often called the Medical Loss Ratio. Health plans that don't meet these benchmarks are required to issue rebates to their customers. Massachusetts' standards for individuals and small businesses are the highest in the nation. For the seventh straight year, Blue Cross exceeded state and federal standards by spending more than 90 percent of every premium dollar on our members' medical care.
How We Compare
*Numbers are approximate and vary slightly from year to year.