If the court says this practice is illegal, it could open up competition to any Blue Cross plan
that wants to compete in that part of the country," said Prof.
Under the Minnesota Blue Cross plan
, which some insurance industry watchers indicate could become a national model, participating employers will get the same discounted prices for three-month prescriptions that are filled in stores as they would by mail.
The conversion of Blue Cross plans
from nonprofit to for profit does not appear to significantly hurt access to health insurance or health care, Mark Hall said at the annual meeting of the American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics.
Blue Cross plans
and indemnity carriers fight back by creating PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations), which compete on price by obtaining deeper provider discounts.
Now it is Blue Cross plans
and major teaching institutions.
Hospitals created Blue Cross plans
, for example, to guarantee themselves a steady stream of income from insured patients.
The other Manitoba success story in this service field is Manitoba Blue Cross, a nonprofit organization and member of the loose-knit Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans
The discussion traces the growth of health insurance from early sickness insurance programs designed to provide income protection in the event of illness, to the development of the Blue Cross plans
, and finally to the current proliferation of commercial insurance companies that provide and administer health insurance plans, largely for employers.
3 million people in all 50 states and operates 14 Blue Cross plans