Battling over the Blues brand
The story "Over the Blues" in the March 2 issue (p. 42) defies reality. In no other scenario can a health insurer lose 92,000 enrollees and have a leading healthcare publication say it emerged "unscathed."
I don't think the sunny treatment given Medical Mutual of Ohio will cause many of your readers to forget the bruising fight the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association was forced to wage because that plan did not meet Blues standards. I wasn't surprised at the tenacity showed by Kent Clapp, the plan's top executive, during the Blues association's termination process, but I was shocked to hear him say, "The cross and shield have never meant anything anyway." Apparently he believed they were worth plenty, as in the untold millions of dollars in legal fees and other costs he incurred fighting our efforts to terminate the plan's license to use the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brands.
More accurate was your article "Paint it Blue" in the same issue (p. 74), which points out that 62% of consumers preferred a health plan with Blues in its name to an identical one without it.
Diane H. Iorio
Vice president of brand enhancement and extension
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association