What is the name of the foundation?
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation.
When was the foundation created?
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation was officially incorporated July 1, 2005, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.
Why was the foundation created?
Primarily, the foundation was created because, as the largest health insurer in the state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas plays a key role in promoting the good health of Kansans. We feel a responsibility to help Kansans lead a healthier life because this will ultimately help keep health care affordable for all Kansans. Through its giving, the foundation will be able to focus on key health issues that can impact the lives of many Kansans.
How is the foundation administered?
The foundation is administered by a five-member board of directors that includes officers of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and two members of the BCBSKS Board of Directors. Marlou Wegener serves as the foundation’s chief operating officer; Scott Raymond, staff counsel for BCBSKS, serves as corporate secretary for the foundation.
What is the foundation’s giving philosophy?
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation has a responsibility to promote the good health of the members it serves and the people who live in the foundation’s 103-county service area. With that in mind, the foundation will seek to fund programs and activities that are at their core health-related. Organizations that receive funding must have 501(c)(3) status; the foundation will not provide funding for individuals or political organizations.
How was the foundation initially funded? How much will it distribute each year?
The foundation was created with a $2 million gift from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas from its financial reserves. The foundation is required by law to distribute at least 5 percent of its assets annually, but is not limited to that minimum and may grant additional funds if the project warrants.
How will funding decisions be made?
The foundation’s five-member board of directors will act upon recommendations made by a committee of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas employees with expertise in community giving and health-related activities.
Why can’t you just lower premiums for all members rather than funding a foundation?
Monies invested in health-related programs and initiatives aimed at Kansans will actually have a positive effect on everyone’s premiums by helping to control the overall expenditures on health care services. Ultimately, if the foundation can help improve the health of Kansans all our members will benefit through the controlling of health care costs as reflected in premiums.
Are the dollars used to fund the foundation one of the reasons for not significantly increasing reimbursements to providers?
Not at all. Business decisions regarding reimbursements to providers and charitable giving are made separately from one another. The creation of the foundation is an effective way to put some of our financial reserves to work for all our members by undertaking activities that will improve the health of all Kansans. The foundation also allows us to continue our long-standing tradition of being a good corporate citizen. In actuality, improving the health of Kansans is a shared goal of the health care providers in the state and the foundation.