Horizon restructuring needs slow, transparent analysis

Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 12/13/2020

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield provides health insurance to more than 1/3 of NJ residents. Despite self-reported assets of over $6 billion as of March 2020, Horizon wants to restructure, allowing them to spin off assets into for profit entities under their existing nonprofit corporate umbrella. Horizon argues this is necessary to remain competitive, that the current structure hurts their ability to make money. Over the last 3 years though, they paid $28 million in bonuses to their CEO and other executives. If Horizon isn’t doing well, how can they afford to reward executives at this level?

A NJ law passed in 2001 permits Horizon to restructure but requires them to transfer the full value of the company’s assets to charitable foundations focused on health in NJ. Horizon doesn’t want to do this. Instead they are seeking to pay $600 million into NJ’s general fund in 2022, with a pledge to pay $650 million annually over the next 17 years. These future payments would not be guaranteed.

A new bill A5119/S3218 aims to give Horizon what they’re asking for. Under the proposed bill, NJ could receive as little as 1/10th of Horizon’s value and the money wouldn’t be dedicated to health; Horizon wouldn’t pay their fair share.

Contact your Legislators to tell them they were elected to protect NJ residents, not corporations. Consideration of Horizon’s request requires slow, careful, transparent analysis to ensure an appropriately funded healthcare foundation to help keep healthcare accessible to all of us.

Topics: HealthcareTaxesHorizon BCBS