Independence Blue Cross (IBC) provides health insurance and related services to some 2.2 million members in southeastern Pennsylvania and, through its subsidiaries, to more than 3.1 million people nationwide. The company's plans include Personal Choice (PPO), Keystone Health Plan East (HMO and POS), and traditional indemnity options for groups, families, and individuals. It also offers supplemental Medicare, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance. Through subsidiary AmeriHealth Administrators, IBC provides third-party administration (TPA) services. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
IBC provides plans for individuals and families who foot the full cost of insurance on their own; portable benefits for students who need coverage at home, on campus, and even abroad; and guaranteed-coverage plans. It also provides coverage for large employer groups and small businesses; Medicare supplemental products; and low-income health plans such as Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Special CareSM.
Subsidiary AmeriHealth provides HMO, PPO, and other plan options to customers in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Another unit, AmeriHealth Casualty Services, offers workers' compensation policies. Most of the company's supplemental plans are provided through partnerships with United Concordia, Davis Vision, and Fort Dearborn Life.
Through AmeriHealth, IBC is also the main shareholder in the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, which includes Medicaid insurers AmeriHealth Mercy Health Plan and Keystone Health Plan East. The AmeriHealth Mercy group was formerly a 50/50 joint venture with Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania; in 2011 IBC joined up with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) to purchase the former Mercy Health System stake for $170 million, giving IBC majority ownership of the AmeriHealth Mercy organization. IBC and BCBSM plan to expand the group's Medicaid services into new territories, as Medicaid enrollment levels are expected to rise under new health reform laws.
Addressing issues of improving quality of care, lowering costs, and increasing communications and collaboration between clinicians and patients, IBC and fellow Blues brothers Highmark and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey partnered with health information technology provider Lumeris in 2012 and acquired NaviNet and its real-time communication network for physicians, hospitals, and health insurers. NaviNet connects 75% of doctors in the US and in 70,000 physicians and hospitals throughout the Blues' service areas.
In 2010 IBC moved to further reduce expenditures and simplify its operations by selling its FutureScripts business, which provides pharmacy benefits management (PBM) services to some 1 million members, to fellow PBM Catalyst Health Solutions for some $225 million in cash. As part of the deal Catalyst entered a 10-year service contract to manage IBC's pharmacy benefits. The sale, along with lowered administrative costs, helped IBC maintain financial stability and post a modest profit margin of 2.2% for 2010, a significant year in the industry due to health care reforms and the still anemic recovery of the economy.
IBC's board approved a new Independence Blue Cross Foundation to identify and develop ways to deliver health care in the region in 2010. Funding of $10 million to establish the foundation was provided.
IBC was founded as the Associated Hospital Service of Philadelphia in 1938.