DC Blue plan's charity plan rejected

The DC government has rejected CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield's most recent proposal to meet its obligations as a non-profit insurer. The move is the latest in an ongoing battle between the District and the health plan over how much it should contribute to DC's community healthcare programs.

The Blue plan has asked DC city council members to accept a plan it has used in Maryland, where it pays a 2 percent tax on HMO premium revenue, while contributing the same amount each year to other programs aimed at improving healthcare access. The health plan notes that this approach could provide health coverage to about 66,000 uninsured DC residents. However, DC officials are insisting that CareFirst pay a set percentage of its premiums toward community care.

They plan to create legislation that would mandate that the premium percentage was paid, in addition to giving the District's mayor the power to set an appropriate level for the amount of reserves the plan's DC affiliate maintains.

CareFirst, for its part, claims it already pays its fair share toward charitable programs in DC Leaders say it has given more than $100 million to community organizations and causes in DC since 2005, and that it plans to give about $40 million this year.

To learn more about this dispute:
- read this Baltimore Business Journal article

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