Horizon Blue Cross will share $550M tax gain with customers

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Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey said it will return $150 million to customers this year. Shown here is its Blue to You van to reach consumers during the open enrollment season for Affordable Care Act health insurance in 2018.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s largest health insurer, expects to receive $550 million in tax refunds from the federal government over the next five years, thanks to the new tax law’s elimination of the alternative minimum tax for corporations, the company said Wednesday.

This year Horizon plans to return $150 million to its customers in a way that it devises in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Plus, it will spend $125 million of the refunds in a multi-year effort to integrate primary care and behavioral health, increase access to primary care in underserved areas, and increase efforts to prevent substance abuse.

The remainder of the money, which will be distributed through 2022, will be managed in a way “to benefit our members on cost, quality and the consumer experience,” Horizon said.