Did you know Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a not-for-profit company? And our not-for-profit mutual status puts members at the center of our universe.
Here’s what it means to you:
Private, not-for-profit, mutual
We are a private, not-for-profit, mutual health insurance company. This means we are not a publicly-traded company that can issue stock. As a result, large organizations, mutual funds and the general public cannot buy and own shares of us.
Our ultimate goal is not to make profits for those who hold financial interests in the company. That’s the goal of for-profit companies. Certainly, like any business, we have to cover our expenses, maintain adequate financial reserves to carry us through unforeseen events, and plan for the future. However, we do not pay dividends to anyone. The money stays in the system. Revenue pays claims, funds new health-improving initiatives for our members, is invested in our infrastructure and maintains ongoing business operations.
Also, unlike nonprofit charities (e.g., local food banks or homeless shelters), we are not tax-exempt. Arkansas Blue Cross pays tens of millions of dollars in local, state and federal taxes annually. We typically pay more in combined taxes than we earn in net income.
Mutual means that every member’s participation benefits every other member. And in a mutual health insurance company, members (policyholders) own the company. However, they are not paid profits. The money policyholders pay in premiums is pooled to pay claims, fund new health initiatives, etc.
Here are some additional points about our not-for-profit status and its benefits to our members and communities:
• We give back to Arkansas.
Arkansas Blue Cross and its employees put energy, resources, and time into addressing key health-related issues such as hunger relief and food insecurity. Our Fearless Food Fights produced more than 1.1 million meals for local food pantries in 2018.
• We support local nonprofits.
Arkansas Blue Cross maintains a separate nonprofit giving foundation (the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas). Our foundation makes grants to health-promoting community projects throughout Arkansas. In its 17-year history, the Blue & You Foundation has awarded more than $33 million in grants to more than 1,500 applicants in all 75 counties.
• We support local and state economies.
We employ more than 2,900 people in central Arkansas and regional locations throughout the state. We provide good jobs and pay our taxes, totaling several hundred million dollars in the past 10-15 years alone.
• We strive for excellence.
Arkansas Blue Cross consistently ranks among the state’s top 25 employers. We were named one of the state’s “Best Places to Work” by Arkansas Business magazine for six consecutive years. We are recognized as a state leader in policies that promote gender equity in the workplace. Forbes’ list of America’s Best Midsize Employers ranked Arkansas Blue Cross 33rd nationally. And, we were the highest-rated insurer and Arkansas-based company among the 500 employers named to that list.
• We put Arkansans first.
Seven decades ago, Arkansas Blue Cross began as a grassroots organization, formed by Arkansans to serve Arkansans. Arkansas is first in our name, hearts, minds and work. When we say we exist to make our members’ lives better, that’s not just talk – it’s in our company’s DNA.
Serving Arkansas to make its citizens and communities better is who we are and what we do. And it makes me proud to say, “I work for Arkansas Blue Cross … which means I work for you.