2008 Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Annual Report - Investing in Good Health

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, April 1st, 2009

"With our local, national, and global economies in a long recession, 2008 will surely be remembered as one of the most difficult years in history.

Since watching bailout after bailout of banks, an insurer, and even automakers, you probably wonder how Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is doing during such challenging times.

I want to assure you that we are holding strong. In 2009, we are celebrating our 70th anniversary as Rhode Island’s local, nonprofit health insurer. We have come through some rough times over the years, and we can certainly endure this one as well. While we are operating in an increasingly more competitive market, we are carefully managing our expenses and making some critical investments to ensure our long-term success.

In fact, we believe our best investment is in our members’ good health. In 2008, we continued working hard to find better ways to help them achieve it. While we have helped our members access coverage, stay well, and find the best care possible when they need it, there are still many opportunities to prevent and manage chronic disease. These national statistics reflect some of the most compelling dynamics affecting our members’ health:

  • Despite advances in medicine, 125 million Americans–more than a third–suffer with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
  • Another third are at risk for the same diseases due to obesity, smoking, and/or inactivity.
  • The cost of care for chronic diseases in this country accounts for two-thirds of the annual $2.2 trillion spent on healthcare.

Meanwhile, we know that many of these conditions can be prevented with proper diet, exercise, and other lifestyle choices. For example, by losing weight, people who are obese can significantly lower their risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, as well as liver, gallbladder, and other diseases.

With these factors in mind, we are moving farther down the path we began traveling years ago–when we evolved from a health insurer to also become our members’ health and wellness partner. In 2009, we will continue working toward an even more fully integrated approach to improving our members’ health and care. Looking ahead, we will be providing access to more customized services that help our members preserve good health and carefully manage any chronic conditions to prevent complications. We know there are better days to come.

We are excited about what the future holds and our efforts to make it healthier than ever...."

Annual report 2008 annual_report_2008.pdf

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