BCBSLA Receives 14th Consecutive “A” Rating from Standard & Poor’s

National rating service Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has given Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana its 14th consecutive “A” rating for financial strength. S&P cited Blue Cross’ strong competitive position in the Louisiana health insurance market, very strong capitalization and very strong liquidity backed by high-quality investments, and a stable return on revenue that reflects its solid market position and consistent execution by senior management.

“We are very pleased that a national rating service like Standard & Poor’s continues to recognize our company’s financial strength, stability and strategic planning,” said Peggy Scott, Blue Cross’ executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

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

The 2010 Standard & Poor’s report states, “BCBSLA’s competitive strength is built upon its large market share, high brand awareness, broad provider networks with good discounts, local market expertise and service, and competitive product offerings, among other features.”

S&P noted that Blue Cross offers a full range of products to all major segments of the market, including individuals, small groups, middle market, large groups, federal employees and national accounts.  The report adds: “Blue Cross also offers various products in the senior market segment (Medicare Part D and Medicare Supplemental) as well as in the employee benefits market segment (dental, life, and disability insurance).”

Standard & Poor’s reported that Blue Cross’ membership growth was strong in 2010. It also noted Blue Cross’ focus on healthcare reform implementation and its “incremental strategy that gradually builds toward 2014.”

In addition, the report states, “The company’s operational management is effective in key areas such as medical management, provider contracting, information technology, marketing and sales, and customer service. Business continuity and disaster management are areas of operational strength. The company has been able to run its operations normally and meet its annual financial targets despite challenges such as Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.”

Scott said she was pleased to see these accomplishments pointed out in the S&P report. “Our senior management team has developed a long-term strategic plan and followed it effectively through periods of challenge and opportunity. Continuing to implement this plan will allow us to fulfill our commitments to our membership even in the changing landscape of healthcare reform,” she said.

For a copy of the 2010 Standard & Poor’s report in PDF format, please e-mail Blue Cross Corporate Communications.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. BCBSLA is a not-for-profit, fully taxed mutual insurer, owned by policyholders and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The company provides group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than 1.3 million members. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 1,800 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

Learn more on the company’s website at www.bcbsla.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bluecrossla. Follow Blue Cross on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BCBSLA and CEO Mike Reitz at www.twitter.com/MikeReitzCEO