What's the bottom line on a Blue Cross conversion in North Carolina? There are lots of numbers swirling around as regulators, consumers and health-care leaders debate that question. Here are a few of the most interesting ones:
Total assets as of Dec. 31, 2001: $1.7 billion
Total revenue: $2.08 billion
Federal, state and local incomes taxes in 2001: $70 million**
Subscribers (including some served on behalf of other Blue plans): 2.8 million
People employed: 3,150
Year established: 1933 and 1935 as the Hospital Care Association and the Hospital Savings Association. The two merged in 1968 to become today's Blue Cross.
Initial capital: A $25,000 grant from the Duke Endowment to the Hospital Savings Association in 1935.
Grants awarded by the BCBSNC Foundation formed in 2001: $2.4 million
Major acquisitions: $202 million to buy Partners National Health Plans in October 2001.
People enrolled in Blue's subsidized Access program for the hard-to-ensure: 78
State conversion law passed: 1998
Percentage of Blue Cross' market value that must be transferred to a nonprofit charitable foundation after it converts: 100
Estimated resources of the foundation: $3.5 billion
Meetings, e-mails and letters between Blue Cross and state regulators in connection with the company's proposed conversion: 114
Public comments logged by the Department of Insurance: 500
National Blue Cross plans that have converted to for-profit status: 12
**Nonprofit Blue Cross plans are no longer completely tax-exempt. North Carolina's plan continues to receive discounts on state taxes on insurance premiums.
Sources: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina's 2001 Annual Report, N.C. Health Access Coalition, state Department of Insurance.