Independence Blue Cross, one of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s largest health insurance companies, is looking to expand into the Medicaid market. The company has been spending millions of dollars in the effort to carve out a larger share of the market. The Medicaid market has become a popular target for health insurers looking to offer affordable coverage to those that have fallen on hard economic times. Independence Blue Cross already holds a prominent place in this particular market, but is looking to further its hold as the market grows more lucrative.
Michigan’s Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer will also be joining in the push for more Medicaid shares. Together, both companies will be spending more than $170 million in buying out the majority of shares of the Mercy Health System, a health care network that spans both Pennsylvania and Michigan. This will help the insurers further embed themselves in the market.
The CEO of Independence Blue Cross, Daniel J. Hilferty, says that the aim of both companies is to offer affordable care to families and individuals that find themselves increasingly reliant on public health care systems. Medicaid, though federally funded, receives a fair amount of its money from state governments. In the wake of the 2008 recession, many states have been left struggling with their own financial woes and some have had to make cuts to their funding of the program. By entering the market, Independence Blue Cross may be able to increase the number of policies covered under Medicaid, meaning more money for the program in the long run.