Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina is a mutual insurance firm that offers health and other insurance services, Medicare contracts, and employee benefits services. Through more than 20 companies, it serves about a million members in the Palmetto State. Its BlueChoice HealthPlan is an HMO that offers managed care plans to more than 205,000 members. Other group offerings include PPO plans (Preferred Blue) and a consumer-driven plan (Business Blue). For individuals, the firm provides Personal Blue plans, Medicare supplemental coverage, and Medicare Advantage PPO and private-fee-for-service plans.
The company has offices that serve multiple lines of business in Camden, Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Surfside Beach, South Carolina, and in Augusta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Nashville, Tennessee.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina also has life and property/casualty insurance subsidiaries, as well as a government health programs division that offers a health program for the US Department of Defense. The company's government programs unit administers managed care contracts for Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE (for military families). Its operating companies include Palmetto GBA, which specializes in managing Medicare benefit plans, and PGBA, which handles TRICARE contracts.
In 2014 it processed almost 851 million claims and 20.4 billion transactions.
Sales and Marketing
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina offers health insurance to individuals and small groups in South Carolina and provides administrative services for larger, self-funded group health plans in the state such as HealthNow of New York, Inc.
The company maintains its sales through stores, independent agents and by direct contact through the company websites and toll-free phone lines. It also markets its products through TV advertising and social media.
To grow its business, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina provides an ever-widening array of health care plans, as it seeks to please individual and group members with a diverse range of needs. Like many insurers, the company is increasing its promotion of health education and disease management programs, in an industry-wide effort to increase preventative care and thus lower the cost of reactive medical care costs. It also regularly invests in its technology infrastructure to provide prompt data services to its providers and members alike. In fact, IBM has ranked its data center in the top 2.5% worldwide.
Since its beginning the company pursued diversification by launching new subsidiaries for its products and services, including subsidiaries for life insurance; property and casualty insurance; medical tourism provider networks; behavioral benefits; and data services.
In 2014 Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina expanded its prenatal coverage, providing benefits with payments for two additional services.
Focused on growing its products, in 2013 the company opened its first upstate retail store to better serve customers looking to buy insurance under the new rules of health care reform, and also began working with 11 medical practices in Charleston and Berkeley counties that recently launched patient-centered medical homes.
In 2013 BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice HealthPlan launched a telemedicine consultation program to increase access to specialty care for members in underserved areas.
The company traces its roots back to the 1946 formation of the not-for-profit South Carolina Hospital Service Plan, which later became Blue Cross of South Carolina. The Blue Shield organization entered South Carolina in 1949, and the two entities merged to form Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina in 1971.