The Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies may depend more heavily on the fate of the public exchanges than their competitors.
Mark Rouck and other analysts at Fitch Ratings argue as much in a new commentary on the state of the Blues.
Health reform advocates began to set up the carriers that make up today’s network back in 1929.
Today, WellPoint Inc. and the 36 other separate companies in the Blues’ association provide or administer health coverage for about 68 million people, more than one-fifth of all U.S. residents.
They generated a total of $7 billion in net income in 2012 on $218 billion in revenue, and they had a total risk-based capital ratio of 403 percent of the regulators’ action level. That’s high enough to earn a strong AA financial strength rating from Fitch.
Historically, the Fitch analysts say, one challenge the Blues faced was a franchise system that limited each company to operating in one state, or part of one state.