UPDATED: Blue Cross of RI Asks for Double Digit Rate Increase and Sponsors Newport Polo

Thursday, June 01, 2017


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Newport Polo

It is the tale of two companies -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island who is asking state regulators to increase their business rates more than 11%, and the company that announced Wednesday that it is the sponsor of Newport Polo — the sport of kings.

According to an article in U.S. News and World Report, “Blue Cross spokeswoman Gail Carvelli said the company's proposed 11.9 percent increase includes a 2.2 percent Affordable Care Act fee and costs related to medical trends.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island also learned this week that they were the worst ranked Blue Cross in New England for quality. J.D. Power ranked each of the Blue's in New England ranked. See ranking below.

In April, GoLocal unveiled that Blue Cross was moving more than a hundred jobs out of the city of Providence — raising questions if the move was in violation of the spirit or the letter of the agreement that Blue Cross agreed to with the City prior to get approval of their $125 million tower and millions in dollars in saving in a tax stabilization agreement.

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Kim Keck, President and CEO of Blue Cross RI

As GoLocal reported:

Despite making promises to the City of Providence in 2007 to centralize its work force in its gleaming $125 million tower, Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI confirmed late Tuesday that it will be moving more than 125 jobs out of Providence to East Providence. 

The Blue Cross Tower is assessed at $46 million, but only pays a portion of its tax obligation because of a generous twenty-year tax stabilization.

Blue Cross’ Waterplace Tower is a 13-story, 315,000 square foot building that was custom designed to house 1,100 Blue Cross employees. After the exodus of these workers from the building, the Tower will house approximately 600 Blue Cross employees, according to sources.

Last in New England

The latest rankings came out for quality as ranked by J.D.Power and Rhode Island's Blue Cross ranked last in New England.

 “Amidst sweeping changes in healthcare delivery and payment models, our data is showing that the one thing consumers value most is clear-cut, easy access to doctors and other healthcare providers,” said Valerie Monet, senior director of U.S. insurance operations at J.D. Power.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont Score 725

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of CT Score 712

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine Score 710

Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA 707

Anthem Health Plan of New Hampshire Score 700

Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI Score 692

“This puts health insurers in a unique position because so much of their perceived value is reliant upon positive interactions with providers. These findings set the stage for the future of healthcare in which close coordination among health plans and providers that reduces friction points for members will be the key to success,” said Monet.

And while Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island works to increase healthcare insurance rates and wrestles with quality of service, the investment as a top-tier sponsor for a luxury event in which the spectators are primarily out-of-state seems ever more insulting to Rhode Island rate payers.

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Blue Cross sponsorship

Sport of Kings

Newport Polo writes that it dates “back more than 130 years in Newport, the polo matches are one of Newport’s grandest & most popular traditions, a living legacy from the Gilded Age.”

Newport Polo is a Rhode Island corporation headed by Daniel Keating according to state records.

The Polo Series will feature 8 international teams this season including France, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Jamaica, England, Dominican Republic and the debut of Peru, as well as 5 City Teams from major US cities and a few top regional rivals for an action-packed season through the end of September.  This is the 26th season of Newport International Polo Series, which has hosted teams from over 30 nations including, Germany, Spain, England, Argentina, France, Egypt, India, Australia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Canada, Chile, Jamaica, Nigeria, Portugal, New Zealand, Barbados, Scotland, South Africa, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Singapore, Monaco, and Morocco.


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