The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association wants to start its own bank to allow its companies’ members to manage their health care spending accounts.
The proposed Blue Healthcare Bank would give members more choice and enable them to simplify the process of paying health care providers, says BCBSA, Chicago.
The program is aimed at making it easy for members to enroll in health care savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and flexible spending accounts.
The bank would be set up as an industrial bank in Utah, which would have to approve the plan, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Washington. If approved, the bank would be operational around midyear, said Scott Serota, president and chief executive officer of BCBSA, at a conference in Washington Dec. 6.
Of 40 locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in the association, 31 are expected to participate in the bank, representing a total of 71 million consumers, says Chris Hamrick, a BCBSA spokesman. He estimates those members represent 40% to 42% of the medical spending account market.