Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) provides health insurance products and services to some 1.3 million Arizonans. The not-for-profit company offers a variety of managed care plans to small and large employer groups, individuals, and families, including PPO, HMO, and high-deductible health plans. It also provides dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage, as well as supplemental health plans for Medicare beneficiaries. Additionally, BCBSAZ's HealthyBlue wellness and disease management programs give members information and services that encourage healthy lifestyles. Founded in 1939, the company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
BCBSAZ serves customers throughout the state of Arizona from its offices in Chandler, Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson. It has a contracted network of some 21,000 physicians and dentists located across the state as well.
The company has been revamping many of its health plan offerings, revising coverage terms and lowering premiums in an effort to attract more customers. Working with state and federal tax incentive programs, BCBSAZ increased promotional efforts for its low-premium small business insurance plans in 2010 and 2011. In addition, BCBSAZ has launched marketing campaigns targeting Arizona's Hispanic community, which makes up 30% of the state's population.
To increase offerings for seniors, BCBSAZ introduced a Medicare part D prescription drug plan in 2011. Then, in 2012, the company formed a joint venture with Banner Health called Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Advantage to jointly offer expanded Medicare plans and services to an estimated 25,000 Medicare Advantage enrollees in Arizona.
To help reduce skyrocketing costs plaguing the health care industry, the company has also been enhancing its HealthyBlue wellness program offering, which promotes preventative care and fitness and allows for personalized online health assessment and coaching services. In 2010 BCBSAZ launched a web-based cost comparison tool.
BCBSAZ processed some 15 million claims in 2011, paying out some $2.8 billion.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Occasional acquisitions also play a role in BCBSAZ's expansion efforts. In 2009 the firm bought up the 16,000 customer accounts of LifeWise Health Plan of Arizona, a unit of Premera Blue Cross that had decided to exit the Arizona market.