Answering Your Top Questions

Blue Cross NC and Cambia share a common belief that together we can work differently to transform our current health care system. Families and businesses want a health care system that is less expensive, less complex and more personalized. Working together, we can share resources and expertise, and we can move faster to drive real changes for our customers.

This is a balanced affiliation of two strong companies aiming to fundamentally transform the current health care system.

We will adopt and build on what each of us does best by sharing certain corporate services. For example, Cambia is a leader in improving consumer experiences through innovation. Blue Cross NC is a leader in advancing value-based care.

While different, we believe this new arrangement will give consumers the best of both worlds: better, simpler, more affordable care, delivered from the same local presence they already know and depend on.

This is not a merger. This is a balanced affiliation of two strong not-for-profit companies that allows us to keep strong local ties and improve the communities we serve while maintaining our shared values.

Neither company is acquiring the other. Rather, through a long-term management agreement, the two companies have contracted to operate under a common management team, and to share key management, administrative, operational and other corporate services. Each company retains its current assets, such as its reserves and capital, and there is no change to the underlying business in our states.

This affiliation is about two not-for-profit companies recognizing they can offer their customers more if they work together. Cambia and Blue Cross NC have agreed to share management, administrative, operational and other corporate services under the Cambia Health Solutions name. This will allow both companies to share resources, savings and innovations to improve consumers’ experience with the health care system.

Blue Cross NC and Cambia will retain their separate, tax-paying, not-for-profit corporate structures, including their respective boards and names. The strategic affiliation also maintains the separate health plans in five states. All plans will continue to be locally led and subject to all state regulations and requirements, including rate review, to ensure consumer protection. Under the arrangement, the composition of Cambia’s Board of Directors will include 10 members from Blue Cross NC’s current Board of Trustees and nine members from Cambia’s current Board of Directors.

Families and businesses can expect to see real change in how they experience their health care. To begin, we’ll focus our efforts on three core principles: better, simpler and more affordable.

Here’s what we mean:

  • Better: We will invest more in data analytics and new health technologies that will close gaps in care, provide better health insights to our members and identify at-risk members early to address health challenges.
  • Simpler: We will develop innovative products and services that minimize the complexity of health care. That means investing in new technologies to provide best-in-class digital experiences and building next-generation care management that puts the individual first.
  • More affordable: We will focus on greater adoption of value-based payment models in all our states. We will invest together once instead of twice and streamline redundant systems and services. This will allow us to build capabilities faster and generate savings that will be reinvested in more affordability for members.

Members will continue to be customers of their local companies. Through this affiliation, our goal is to bring stronger products, tools and offerings to our members across all five states.

Employer group customers will continue to be covered by their local company. This affiliation will enable Blue Cross NC and Cambia to offer employers, individuals and their families better, simpler and more affordable care.

Both companies have a long history of working collaboratively with providers. This will not change. We share a commitment with the providers in our states to offer the best care for our customers. Blue Cross NC and Cambia will continue to directly contract with providers in their respective states. Together, our goal is to improve and enhance our abilities to work with them in bringing value-based care models to life for the patients and customers we all serve.

Both Blue Cross NC and Cambia have a shared belief that together we can better transform our current health care system by joining forces. We can make health care better, simpler and more affordable for individuals and families. Building on the success of our existing relationship, Echo Health Ventures, an investment company jointly owned by Blue Cross NC and Cambia launched in 2016, we can address these challenges faster.

Together, we have created solutions that are already making a significant impact, such as the following:

  • We are currently making investments to increase access to high-quality urgent care centers. This gives people more options when they need to be seen for a minor illness or injury, or for routine services such as a flu shot or sports physical.
  • We’re delivering smartphone-based, one-stop-shopping for family health information that includes relevant content for expectant mothers to help them deal with pregnancy complications and newborn care.
  • We invested in a company that brings together patients seeking affordable care with providers offering high-quality services at fair prices.

We will maintain two headquarters – in Portland, OR, and Durham, NC. Mark Ganz will become the Executive Chair of the Cambia Board of Directors, and Patrick Conway will become the Cambia CEO. Conway will also remain CEO of Blue Cross NC. Conway will be based in Durham. Ganz will be based in Portland.

The strategic affiliation is subject to regulatory approval in North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah.

No. One thing that isn’t different is the continued commitment to the communities we serve. Blue Cross NC and Cambia have strong histories of community investment. We believe this is a fundamental part of who we are.

Yes. Both companies will retain strong, separate foundations. Since the founding of Blue Cross NC’s foundation in 2000, it has invested in North Carolina communities and taken on challenges such as food insecurity, rural access to care and early childhood development. Founded in 2007, the Cambia Health Foundation invests in partnerships and initiatives that move healthcare from innovation to impact, through a focus on advancing palliative care; improving children’s mental and behavioral health; and promoting health care equity and quality.

Our long-term goal is to make health care more affordable for the individuals and families we serve. This affiliation provides us the best opportunity to do that. Our expertise, common management and increased resources will allow us to better address rising costs in the health care system by reinvesting shared savings, enhancing price transparency tools like MedSavvy, developed by Cambia, and through the greater adoption of value-based payment models, like Blue Cross NC’s Blue Premier, in all of the states.

Blue Cross NC and Cambia today are constantly striving for ways to be more efficient while delivering more value to our members and employer groups. This affiliation gives us the best opportunity to do so, while growing and creating new capabilities. The companies will share services, which will cause some resources to shift. However, we are early in the process, and there will be no immediate changes until after regulatory approval.

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