Florida Blue Cross Taps Puerto Rico Market And Beyond With Deal’s Close

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The parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida has completed its $900 million purchase of Puerto Rico’s Triple-S Management, broadening its reach into several new markets.

GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation, parent of Florida Blue, has acquired all the outstanding shares of Triple-S Management common stock for $36 per share in cash, according to terms of the deal, which closed Tuesday.

GuideWell, a mutual insurer owned by policyholders, is one of the nation’s largest health plans now with more than 46 million customers in 45 states and includes Florida Blue, which has more than 5 million health plan members in all 67 of the state’s counties.

The deal comes as the health insurance industry once again seems poised for a wave of consolidation with reports that Centene, a national provider of government-subsidized health benefits, has been in talks with established larger health insurers like Cigna. And giants like UnitedHealth Group, which owns the health insurer UnitedHealthcare and the Optum health services business, and CVS Health, the parent of health insurer Aetna, aren’t ruling out growing via more acquisitions, according to recent statements their executives have made at investor conferences.  

In GuideWell’s case, Triple-S opens the door to more expansion in U.S. territories and beyond and enables the combined company to grow commercial health coverage as well as private Medicare Advantage and Medicaid. Triple-S brings to GuideWell more than 1 million customers in Puerto Rico and the rights to use the Blue Cross Blue Shield name throughout Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla.

“With the acquisition of Triple-S, we expect to combine their team’s knowledge and expertise with our own to enhance access, quality, and the affordability of health care for the stakeholders of both companies,” Pat Geraghty, the president and chief executive officer of both GuideWell and Florida Blue said. “The combination will result in a well-diversified industry leader, strongly positioned to compete effectively, and invest substantially to accelerate our strategies and drive improved health outcomes for the benefit of our diverse populations.”

Additional terms of the transaction involve “$1.25 million in donations to Hispanic nonprofits in Orlando and Puerto Rico,” Florida Blue said in a statement.



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