No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Two weeks after the revelation that Blue Shield of California‘s top executive, Bruce Bodaken, took home $4.6 million last year, Blue Shield of California has announced that it will be returning $167 million to some of its members this year. Members with individual health insurance policies (i.e. not on employer-based group health insurance plans) will receive a 30% credit on one monthly bill this year. That roughly translates into an average of $80 for an individual policyholder and $250 for a family of four.
According to Bodaken, it’s only the beginning of a new initiative for Blue Shield of California. From now on, Blue Shield of California will be returning money to heatlh insurance members policyholders in years when its net income is more than 2% of revenue. That was the case in 2010, Bodaken said, and so Blue Shield of California is now planning to give back the extra money.
“We are living in incredibly challenging economic times,” Bodaken wrote in The San Francisco Chronicle. “At Blue Shield of California, we believe we have an obligation to tighten our budget, just like everyone else. That’s why we are announcing a new commitment to help our customers get the health care they need at a price they can better afford.”
The return of the $167 million is not all Blue Shield of California is up to. The health insurance giant has also pledged to donate another $10 million to doctors and hospitals that coordinate care through so-called accountable care organizations and another $3 million to support safety net programs.
What do you think about Blue Shield of California‘s pledge? Tell us about it!
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