Who controls Blue Cross and Blue Shield?
A. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association based in Chicago is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, its website states.
The association owns and manages the Blue Cross and Blue Shield trademarks and names in more than 170 countries and territories around the world, granting licenses to independent companies to use the trademarks and names in exclusive geographic areas.
Those independent companies, in turn, own and fund the association which is governed by a board of directors from which two-thirds are selected from member companies.
Health insurance plans under the trademark cover 100 million people, or one in three Americans.
Q. Is Blue Cross and Blue Shield nonprofit?
A. The association is set up as a nonprofit in Illinois and reported $400 million in revenue for 2011, according to its tax filings.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is also set up as a nonprofit. But numerous other Blue Cross Blue Shield companies are not because of tax reform in the 1980s.