January 08, 2009

BCBSLA Receives 12th Consecutive "A" Rating from Standard & Poor's


National rating service Standard & Poor's has given Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana its 12th consecutive "A" rating for financial strength, citing the company's strong competitive position in the state's health insurance market, very strong capitalization, very strong liquidity supported by high-quality investments and return on revenue that is consistent with what it expects from an "A" rated not-for-profit company. 

"We are very pleased to have been recognized again for what we can offer to our current and future customers, including outstanding service and high-quality health insurance," said Mike Reitz, Blue Cross' interim president and CEO. "The fact that we have remained financially sturdy and stable, despite the impact of the recent hurricanes on the local economy and healthcare delivery system, speaks volumes about the strength of our company and our Blue brand."  

Standard & Poor's is the world's foremost provider of benchmarks for measuring corporate financial health.  

The Standard & Poor's report noted the following highlights:

  • Strong competitive position: "The company is the largest health insurer in Louisiana based on membership (1.14 million members), with an estimated market share of at least 50% of the privately insured market."
  • Very strong capitalization: "Historical surplus growth has been strong."
  • Very strong liquidity: "BCBSLA's very strong liquidity is supported by the makeup of its investment portfolio and the short-tailed nature of its health insurance liabilities."
  • Return on revenue: "Operating performance is strong. The company generally targets lower return on revenue than its for-profit competitors."  

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is Louisiana-owned and -operated. Marking its 75th anniversary in 2009, the company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. It is a tax-paying mutual company, owned by its policyholders. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also has district offices in Alexandria, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport. The company's subsidiaries include HMO Louisiana, Inc. and Southern National Life Insurance Company, Inc.