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Pru

No. 22

Blue Shield Acquires CareAmerica

Most recent HMO mergers have involved for-profit firms, but non-profit Blue Shield of California bucked the trend in July when it announced it would acquire the for-profit CareAmerica Health Plans of Woodland Hills.

In what was described by one executive as a case of “man bites dog,” Blue Cross finalized its purchase of CareAmerica for $195 million in November. CareAmerica’s former parent, Burbank-based UniHealth, had been looking to sell the subsidiary for about a year.

The merger created the state’s fourth-largest managed care organization, and its No. 2 non-profit HMO, second only to Kaiser Permanente.

Blue Shield of California, which is based in San Francisco, now has more than 1.8 million members including more than 1 million in Southern California and annual revenues in excess of $2 billion.

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