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Expert: Blue Cross Could Change Status To Avoid Scrutiny

BOSTON — Blue Cross Blue Shield is looking into changing its status as a not-for-profit organization. But it won’t turn into a for-profit.

“In other states, some Blue Cross plans are not-for-profit, but not a public charity. Some Blue Cross plans have become what are mutual insurance companies, so they are owned by their members, so there are other options that we could explore,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Andrew Dreyfus.

Some people might read a possible change in not-for-profit status by Blue Cross Blue Shield to a mutual insurance company as a move to avoid scrutiny, so it can pay its employees and board members without fear of being confronted by regulators.

Alan Sager, a professor of health policy and management at the Boston University School of Public Health, said that is a fair observation.

“Blue Cross in its two-page statement Tuesday said they accept full responsibility for past high pay practices, but then they say the mutual may be a good idea because it allows them to continue high pay, or even increase it in the future,” Sager told Morning Edition Wednesday.

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