Independence Health Group

MEETING THE CHALLENGES TOGETHER

The communities we serve came together to meet the challenges of 2020 with resolve and compassion. Independence stood with those communities, offering dependable service and stability as we navigated the pandemic as well as the renewed call for health equity. We look back at this momentous year with sadness at the hardship that many faced, but also with pride at the resilience shown by our members, customers, and the health care providers we work with, as well as our 10,000-plus associates.

A MESSAGE FROM THE CEO AND THE BOARD CHAIRMAN

The events of last year were a call to action for our family of companies. We answered by finding more ways to help our members, work with health care providers, and stand with citizens in the places where we live and work.

ceo
Gregory E. Deavens
chairman
Charles P. Pizzi

A message from the CEO and the Board Chairman

Inspired by the resilience of the people and communities we serve, Independence Health Group stood with them in 2020 — as a health care company, as a community anchor, and as an organization of 10,000-plus professionals committed to better health and a better life for our members and neighbors.

The events of 2020 — from the COVID-19 pandemic to the reckoning with America’s racial inequities — were a call to action for our family of companies. We answered with service and stability: finding more ways to help our members, work with health care providers, and support citizens in the places where we live and work. We did much of that work in collaboration with local, state, and federal government, health systems, and nonprofits. Additionally, we redoubled our long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In this unprecedented year, Independence committed to providing resources, information, and flexibility to everyone we work with as they navigated the pandemic. Ultimately, the COVID-19 initiatives we put into place totaled nearly $700 million in value. We made sure that our members could get safe, effective care, and that doctors and nurses could continue their heroic efforts.

From our yearlong public awareness campaign, “Beat COVID-19,” to our close collaboration with public health leaders, Independence was an integral part of community response to the pandemic. We also elevated our efforts to fight racism and in particular health inequities.

Our stability in service came from the dedication of our associates in Greater Philadelphia, New Jersey, Minnesota, and across the nation. Adjusting to near-universal work from home, they never lost sight of what our members needed. And they continued to advance our priorities like innovation and value.

It is also crucial to cite the influence of Dan Hilferty, who retired at the end of 2020 after a remarkable decade as president and CEO of Independence Health Group, before which he led AmeriHealth Caritas. Dan was instrumental not only in our day-to-day response to COVID-19, but also the years of strategic preparation that allowed us to fulfill our mission in an environment no one could have foreseen.

We continue to lead this company based on principles Dan exemplified: Health care is a right. Collaboration is a necessity. Innovation is the pathway to success.

We are proud to offer you this report on our achievements in 2020.

Daniel J. Hilferty

Gregory E. Deavens | President and Chief Executive Officer

Charles P. Pizzi

Charles P. Pizzi | Chairman

A Leadership Transition for 2021

On January 1, 2021, Gregory E. Deavens became president and CEO of Independence Health Group upon the retirement of Daniel J. Hilferty. After serving as executive vice president, treasurer, and chief financial officer at Independence for four years, Greg is now the first African American to lead Independence and its family of companies.

Under Greg’s leadership, Independence is focused on extending our strong business performance while promoting equitable, whole-person health; addressing racial health disparities; and continuing our leadership in serving our members, customers, employees, and communities in the fight against COVID-19.

AT A GLANCE

Independence Health Group and its subsidiaries serve 8.1 million people while doing business in 28 states, as well as the District of Columbia. This national presence provides us with the perspective and ability to transform care and inspire breakthroughs.

INDEPENDENCE health group COVERS MEMBERS NATIONWIDE

Independence Health Group through its subsidiaries serves more than 8.1 million people nationwide while doing business in 28 states and the District of Columbia. This national presence provides us with the perspective and ability to transform care and inspire breakthroughs.
Medical, service, and ancillary
Medical and service
Medical and ancillary
Medical
Service
Ancillary
As of 12/31/2018

A LOOK AT AN UNPRECEDENTED YEAR

MEMBERS AND CUSTOMERS
PROVIDERS
COMMUNITIES
INNOVATORS
COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

WITH THE PEOPLE WE SERVE

Care for our members who needed it

Our priorities for our members from the start of the COVID-19 crisis were clear: testing, treatment, and safe care for all.

We quickly put new policies into place so our members could have peace of mind should they need to be tested or treated for COVID-19, and we extended and expanded those benefits as needed. Our actions included:

  • Waiving member costs for COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing
  • Working with lab vendors to enhance regional access to testing
  • Waiving member costs for COVID-19 care

We also expanded coverage for telemedicine services for any reason, so members could feel safe about their necessary care. We processed more than 2.4 million telemedicine claims in 2020, compared to 26,000 in 2019, and also saw a 140-fold increase in the use of behavioral health telemedicine.

Help for our vulnerable neighbors

Our commitment to serve vulnerable people with compassion and empathy was critical throughout 2020.

AmeriHealth Caritas’ Medicaid managed care health plans reached out to nearly 2 million members across America (more than 380,000 in April 2020 alone). They helped members learn about COVID-19, access care, obtain essential items, and even apply for unemployment.

Independence Blue Cross stayed connected with at-risk Medicare Advantage members through “Calls of Kindness.” Associate volunteers made more than 12,000 personal check-in calls to thousands of members who live alone, are over 70, or have chronic health conditions. These friendly calls asked about members’ support systems and connected them to a case manager if needed.

Independence Blue Cross and Philadelphia-based United By Blue launched a no-cost grocery delivery program for our Medicare Advantage members. And both Independence Blue Cross and AmeriHealth Caritas expanded collaborations with MANNA, a Philadelphia organization that provides nutritional support to people with serious illnesses.

Support for our customers

Our clients — especially small businesses — battled through the pandemic to keep working and protect their employees. Their resilience was inspiring, and we are proud to have been able to help them.

Independence Blue Cross offered our customers financial support like medical and dental premium credits totaling $45 million, as well as premium rebates for effective management of medical costs. We also added payment flexibility, such as credit card payments and deferred payment plan options for group customers with fewer than 500 enrolled employees.

We worked with our customers to help them understand the implications of COVID-19 for their employees and their businesses. Two virtual forums brought together Independence leaders and industry-leading experts to discuss critical issues like COVID-19 transmission trends, the vaccine pipeline, re-entry planning, and employee health and safety. More than 1,000 participants registered for each event.

$45M

Premium credits for customers

Coordinating behavioral and physical health

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Health of America reports have drawn attention to the growing prevalence of both physical and behavioral health conditions in the millennial generation. The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the mental health crisis for everyone. And patients with depression are three times less likely to adhere to a treatment plan.

Because mental health and physical health are so intrinsically connected — and most people access care from their primary care physicians — we are working to help primary care practices serve the whole person. This includes embedding behavioral health providers in the practice or connecting providers to a virtual platform that gets the patient to the right care and monitors their recovery.

Under a pilot pioneered by Independence Blue Cross and Penn Medicine in primary care practices, all members are screened for behavioral health. Those screening positive are referred immediately to a resource center for next steps — in some cases, brief interventions by a licensed clinical social worker embedded in the practice; in others, direct connection to specialty care. Afterwards, the resource center follows patients for two months. The program has seen promising results for behavioral and physical health as well as the cost of health care, with publication in a major journal soon to come.

Serving seniors every day

Our companies continue to serve Medicare Advantage members with plans that excel under the highest national standards.

The Keystone 65 HMO plan received four stars with in 2020 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Personal Choice 65 PPO plan received 3.5 stars. And for the second consecutive year, two of AmeriHealth Caritas’ Medicare Advantage dual-eligible special needs plans in Pennsylvania received an overall four-star rating.

CMS Star Ratings reveal which plans are likely to deliver the most overall quality based on measures including access to care, member satisfaction, the plan’s responsiveness, quality of care, customer service, and more. Our Star Ratings are a testament to how our plans engage members and continue to enhance their offerings.

In addition, AmeriHealth Caritas’ Select Health Plan was named the top-rated Medicaid plan in South Carolina. Select Health is rated higher by its network providers in every single category (including quality management, pharmacy services, and utilization management) than all other Medicaid plans in the state.

We are working to help primary care practices serve the whole person.

Building new connections in the community

Our commitment is to meet vulnerable members where they live. This was the inspiration behind AmeriHealth Caritas opening new community wellness centers in Pennsylvania.

The AmeriHealth Caritas Northeast Wellness Center in Hazelton, Pa., welcomed community members and health care providers with education programs and health screenings. The Reading Community Wellness Center in Reading, Pa., was created to support healthy lifestyles and also help people address non-medical factors that can affect health. And the Keystone First Wellness and Opportunity Center opened by Vista Health Plan, Inc., in Chester, Pa., offered health screenings, fitness and nutrition classes, health risk assessments, and even GED classes.

Each of these new centers was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, but the Keystone First Wellness Center became a vaccine distribution site, providing doses to residents. And we will continue to create opportunities to support members and non-members in their communities.

Supporting caregivers

An estimated 53 million Americans spend time every day helping family members, friends, or neighbors manage health issues. Often, these informal caregivers cope with little guidance or resources, while juggling jobs and other responsibilities. And their kindness takes a significant toll on their own well-being: A Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Health of America report found that caregivers had 26 percent poorer health compared to benchmarks.

A new program from AmeriHealth Caritas and Quil, our digital health joint venture with Comcast, aims to support and empower informal caregivers through the Quil Engage digital health platform. Quil Engage helps caregivers manage everyday activities like eating and bathing, organizing medications, and making the home safe. Caregivers at any level of experience can access Quil on their phone, computer, or television, regardless of technological expertise.

Improving products and services

Independence Blue Cross continues to launch new programs for our members and group clients that improve their health and our ability to serve them.

We expanded our work with GlobalFit, becoming the first insurer to offer GlobalFit Anywhere, an app-based program that connected our individual and small group members to virtual content and livestreaming and in-person classes offered by fitness studios, gyms, and trainers in the Greater Philadelphia region at discounted rates.

We also introduced Customer Service Champion, a new concierge model for self-funded business clients that evolves the customer service experience. Customer Service Champion provides support to employees from a dedicated team of Independence associates specifically trained to help that customer’s members understand and use their benefits, find and access care, manage their health, and resolve questions.

This new model delivered higher first-call resolution and higher member satisfaction — driving value for our business clients.

Our commitment is to meet vulnerable members where they live.

WITH OUR COLLEAGUES IN HEALTH CARE

Teamwork with providers

The most obvious heroes of the pandemic have been the skilled and dedicated people on the front lines providing care. They rose to meet enormous challenges, and Independence companies have supported our provider colleagues in every way we could.

Independence Blue Cross initiatives included:

  • Making it easier to care for COVID-19 patients by waiving pre-authorization for many admissions and transfers
  • Reimbursing primary and specialist telemedicine visits at an in-office rate
  • Providing more than $50 million in advance payments
  • Launching a coalition of regional home care providers to develop protocols and a shared capacity database to ensure resources were effectively deployed as the pandemic spread
  • Creating the COVID-19 Provider Hub online
  • Donating approximately 700,000 personal protection masks to physician practices working in underserved communities

Tandigm Health met virtually with every primary care physician group in its network. Based on what was learned, Tandigm accelerated incentive payments, provided guidance on federal loan programs, and supported expanded use of telehealth. Tandigm also secured protective equipment for physicians to ensure continuity of care in skilled nursing facilities, and provided care packages to members who were exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19.

AmeriHealth Caritas accelerated payments to providers in value-based agreements in Louisiana, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania. New risk models with providers were developed, and we worked closely with provider advocacy groups, state agencies, and legislators on behalf of providers.

$50M

Advance payments for providers

Streamlining the provider experience

The value we provide to our members includes our relationships with the hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals they trust and rely on. The Independence Blue Cross Provider Experience Initiative is strengthening those relationships by innovating how we work better with our networks.

Our goals are efficiency, improved processes, and simplified day-to-day interactions. Informed by provider feedback, we are optimizing our value-based models of care while helping providers make clinical care investments. We are committed to accessibility, information sharing, and ease in navigating our organization.

One example is a new practice management application that allows providers to conduct daily transactions with a single sign-on for members of any one of our plans across our companies. This innovation has led to a more streamlined and user-friendly experience.

Advancing value-based care

Independence continues to grow the impact of value-based care — focusing payments on quality rather than quantity. We are collaborating with our region’s leading health systems on new models for how care is designed, delivered, and experienced.

In 2020, Independence Blue Cross expanded value-based agreements with Main Line Health System, Temple University Health System, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Our agreements with Main Line and Temple emphasize population health, prevention, and collaboration to improve access to care. Independence and CHOP signed an agreement based on our shared goal of improving community health care for children. It paves the way to move value-based programs beyond primary care practices.

Tandigm Health created Tandigm Physician Services, a new joint venture with Gateway Medical Associates. This management services organization provides infrastructure to support independent medical practice by expanding the resources available to practices so they can thrive under value-based models, while also providing core business capabilities needed to sustain them into the future.

Finally, Penn Medicine is using a platform from Quil, our digital health joint venture with Comcast, to help patients navigate various clinical episodes of care. From bariatric surgery to joint replacements to home health, the Quil Engage platform is being used to activate patients in their care, in partnership with their health care providers. This collaboration has been very well received by patients, improving clinical outcomes, reducing avoidable readmissions, and empowering more patients to successfully recover at home.

We are collaborating on new models for how care is designed, delivered, and experienced.

WITH THE COMMUNITIES WHERE WE LIVE AND WORK

Information in an uncertain time

Since the outset of the pandemic, communities have been able to rely on Independence for timely, accurate, and easily accessible information.

We launched online information hubs aimed at members, customers, brokers, and providers. We also created an award-winning public awareness campaign called “Beat COVID-19,” one of the earliest major COVID-19 information programs in Greater Philadelphia. Through TV, radio, print, and digital advertising and social media, the campaign addressed key COVID-19 topics including mitigating spread, continuing necessary physical and behavioral care through telemedicine, and protecting seniors. “Beat COVID-19” also took the opportunity to salute essential workers.

We were able to rally prominent local figures to participate in the campaign and also ensured that it reached all demographics — particularly those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The main takeaway from this campaign: “We’re all in this together.”

A focus on equitable care

Racial health disparities have been exacerbated by the pandemic. We have a duty to address these disparities and promote equitable, whole-person health.

To that end, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation provided early financial support to Philadelphia’s Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium (BDCC) to increase access to testing and vaccines in under-resourced communities. BDCC reached more than 17,000 residents between August and December 2020.

The IBC Foundation also supported the launch of CATE (Community-Accessible Testing & Education), Pennsylvania’s first mobile response unit providing COVID-19 testing and education in communities of color. Through a partnership that included the IBC Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Latino Connection, CATE provided COVID-19 resources and education in English and Spanish and tested more than 2,500 people in the southeastern region from September to December 2020. The initiative has also expanded to include vaccination efforts.

Dr. Rachel Levine, former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, launches the CATE initiative.

Dan Hilferty was featured in the “Beat COVID-19” campaign advertisements and commercials.

Partnership with organizations making a difference

Improving the health of the community is at the core of our mission. The Independence Blue Cross Foundation continued to serve as a leader to the region’s nonprofits providing more than $5.5 million in charitable funding and resources for our neighbors in need.

In 2020, grants totaling nearly $1.7 million were dedicated to COVID-19 relief. This includes being an early funder of the PHL COVID-19 Fund, a regional effort supporting Greater Philadelphia nonprofits to ensure essential health and human services could continue for our communities.

AmeriHealth Caritas donated more than $150,000 across its markets to local food banks, and associates engaged in community service initiatives such as delivering care packages and diapers to support families and frontline workers.

$1.7M

Grants for COVID-19 needs by the IBC Foundation

Impacting the social determinants of health

The factors that impact community health go far beyond the clinic. We are addressing social determinants of health through innovative partnerships that build capacity in underserved neighborhoods.

Independence Blue Cross and AmeriHealth Caritas teamed up with Project HOME, a Philadelphia-based leader in fighting homelessness and poverty, to form Keystone Connection to Wellness in North Philadelphia. The collaboration is addressing the disparities that lead to unacceptable gaps in health and even life expectancy between ZIP codes. Through this initiative, expectant mothers in North Philadelphia are participating in Project Home’s Centering Pregnancy program — a national, evidence-based maternal health model.

Independence Blue Cross worked with Signify Health to launch CommunityLink™, one of the nation’s first community-based networks combining management of social determinants of health with in-home health visits to improve health outcomes for at-risk people.

We also partnered with The Philadelphia Tribune, the nation’s oldest African American newspaper, to launch “Our Community. Our Health.” This public health awareness campaign focused on chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease that disproportionately impact African Americans.

Addressing the mental health crisis

Behavioral health care is as important as physical care in a community’s ability to meet challenges. Our steady focus on behavioral health care and outreach will be critical in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Independence Blue Cross co-sponsored a mental health awareness campaign with the City of Philadelphia, beginning with Mental Health Awareness month in May and continuing throughout the year. Called “Let’s Be #mindPHL Together,” the campaign promoted community understanding of mental health, provides resources online, and aims to reduce the stigma in asking for help. Building on that success, we launched “Know Your Mind” in December to help people recognize symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation expanded its Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP) initiative to focus on addiction treatment and recovery for minoritized groups and young people. In 2020, the IBC Foundation, in collaboration with Caron Treatment Centers and One Day at a Time, improved access to world-class substance use disorder treatment for people of color through an investment in the Caron Treatment Centers Black Patient Scholarship Fund.

Answering the call for justice and equity

We advance our mission every day by promoting equitable, whole-person health, and that includes addressing systemic issues of health equity as well as broader questions of social justice.

Following the social movements of last summer, Independence joined the Urban Affairs Coalition and Mother Bethel AME Church as co-conveners of the Ending Racism Partnership. This citywide participatory collaboration of Philadelphia residents seeks to end racial injustice and economic inequality. The Partnership is guided by a steering committee of leaders representing government, philanthropy, arts and entertainment, and community groups.

The Partnership includes roundtable discussions, stakeholder conversations and a public sentiment survey of Philadelphia residents to help build an action plan for a sustained, multi-sector effort to move the needle on ending racism in Philadelphia and beyond.

Recognizing the contributions of nurses

Our second Celebrate Caring campaign demonstrated that nurses truly are heroes, especially in the time of COVID-19.

We received more than 1,100 nominations — almost two thirds more than the previous year — highlighting nurses around the region who embody service and compassion. Submissions from colleagues, patients, friends, and families showcased how nurses from various settings continued to provide care during the biggest public health crisis in decades.

Celebrate Caring winners were profiled by our media partners and could designate $2,500 to a nonprofit organization meaningful to them. We were proud to celebrate our five winners and nine additional honorees who are making a difference.

We are addressing social determinants of health through innovative partnerships.

WITH FELLOW INNOVATORS

Celebrating an innovation icon: Dan Hilferty

Our Independence culture celebrates connection, collaboration, and risk-taking — it’s an environment that has turned our workforce into a community of innovators. If one leader was most responsible for setting this tone, it was Dan Hilferty. And as Dan retired at the end of 2020, after a decade as president and CEO of Independence Health Group, we celebrated that legacy.

The two-story, 30,000-square-foot center we opened in 2019 to advance innovation with external partners as well as our associates is now the Daniel J. Hilferty Center for Innovation. The name honors Dan’s commitment to transforming health care by embracing new ideas, from value-based care models to innovative uses for data to addressing the social determinants of health. Dan’s leadership will continue to ring out every time Independence champions a breakthrough or connects more deeply with our members.

As Dan stepped down, Gregory E. Deavens was named president and CEO. Greg served as chief financial officer at Independence for four years and is the first African American to lead Independence. Greg is focused on promoting equitable, whole-person health; addressing racial health disparities; and continuing the company’s leadership in serving our members, customers, employees, and communities in the fight against COVID-19.

Dan Hilferty.

Our Independence culture celebrates connection, collaboration, and risk taking.

Tools for communities in crisis

Real-time innovation has helped us support our members and communities as they dealt with the impact of the pandemic.

AmeriHealth Caritas created COVID-19 Tracker, a care management tool to help their associates engage Medicaid and Medicare members and connect them to medical, behavioral, and social services. COVID-19 Tracker combined up-to-date localized data on the virus with information about member demographics, medical risk, and even social determinants of health. The goal was to identify individuals at greater risk for severe or complicated infection.

Independence Blue Cross turned to Quil, our digital health joint venture with Comcast, to offer the Quil COVID-19 Preparedness Tool to select members at no cost. The COVID-19 Preparedness Tool included resources to support healthy living at home and help individuals adjust to new work/life balance realities.

Focusing on the Health of America

More than 110 million Americans entrust their health to Blue plans, local companies that combine to create the national power of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The Health of America project leverages that scope to identify how health trends are affecting our members and communities.

Striking data have come from two landmark Health of America reports on the health of millennials:

  • Millennials are more frequently diagnosed with many health conditions than Generation X at the same age.
  • Six of the top 10 health conditions affecting millennials are related to behavioral health.
  • Nearly a third of millennials have a behavioral health condition, with rates rising by double digits, and those affected are at twice the risk of also having a chronic physical condition.

Independence Blue Cross hosted the first national Health of America Forum, where 500 health care providers, health experts, and employers from across the country gathered in Philadelphia to discuss millennial health challenges and opportunities. The second national Forum took place virtually in fall 2020.

We also launched the Well City Challenge with the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia to engage community innovators solving for millennial and mental health challenges. Winning ideas included a virtual wellness and connection platform for millennial women of color, a project reimagining a neighborhood park as a center for wellness and nutrition, and a program to bring mental health awareness to beauty salons and barber shops.

500 experts

Gathered in Philadelphia for the first Health of America forum

Connecting with new ideas

Independence Blue Cross has brought an under-the-radar innovation community into the spotlight by helping to launch the B. PHL Innovation Fest across Philadelphia.

The first festival featured more than 200 events at 15 locations citywide, where the region’s innovators demonstrated how they are changing the worlds of arts and culture, science, business, social impact, health care, and more. Among the distinguished innovators participating were Abbi Jacobson, co-creator and star of “Broad City”; Guion “Guy” Bluford, Jr., the first African American to fly in space; and Duncan Wardle, former vice president of innovation and creativity at The Walt Disney Company.

The virtual second edition of B. PHL attracted a global audience of more than 6,500 registrants from 49 states and 37 countries and featured more than 250 diverse speakers at 120 events. Participants ranged from local changemakers to innovative celebrities like America Ferrera, Issa Rae, Pitbull, M. Night Shyamalan, and Nick Offerman.

Changing the health care landscape

The year 2020 demonstrated the importance of making quality health care more affordable and accessible. Independence Blue Cross has acted boldly in that arena.

We joined 17 other Blue companies in a partnership with Civica Rx to form a new company, CivicaScript, with the goal of lowering the prices of select high-cost generic drugs. We also partnered with Wills Eye Hospital and LabCorp to launch a diabetic retinopathy screening pilot program to prevent severe vision loss due to diabetes. Additionally, researchers from Independence and the University of Pennsylvania published findings in the journal Telemedicine and e-Health showing how telemedicine can significantly reduce the time it takes for primary care doctors to consult with specialists, without undue increases in utilization or cost.

Independence helped bring Philadelphia’s innovation community into the spotlight.

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Where we work

Transitioning to work-from-home

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Independence became a trailblazer in terms of committing to a work-from-home model. Within days, the vast majority of our 10,000-plus associates were working remotely, a transition made possible by our long-term investment in technology and business continuity planning. We met the challenge of providing seamless protection and service for our members and customers, while prioritizing the health and safety of our workforce.

Aligning our campus for the future

In 2020, we completed the long-planned purchase of the Independence Health Group headquarters at 1901 Market Street in Center City Philadelphia. This milestone signaled our ongoing commitment to the Greater Philadelphia region and continued investment in the West Market Street neighborhood.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Joining our colleagues in a promise

Independence Blue Cross joined our fellow Blue plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in “A Pledge to Make Meaningful Change” in 2020. We promised to fight injustice and racism in every community we serve across the nation. We pledged to listen and learn, and then to act, including creating forums for our associates to speak and making our voices and actions known everywhere. We are working together to pursue equality, justice, and good health for all, and committing to enduring change.

Centering the Black experience

In our fight to overcome racism and inequity, Independence Blue Cross associates are taking a leading role. Our iLead (Inspiring, Lifting, and Empowering the African Diaspora) associate resource group responded to the civil and racial unrest of 2020 by convening a series of company-wide conversations called “The State of the Black Community.” These open, honest, and sometimes raw discussions saw more than 1,200 employees participate, and nearly 30 presenters from across the organization shared their stories and experiences.

The impact of a diverse supply chain

Our longstanding Independence Health Group supplier diversity program contributed $375 million to the national economy in 2018, according to a 2020 economic impact study. This included more than 1,700 jobs and more than $30 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue. (These numbers rose from $238 million, 1,082 jobs, and $19.1 million in taxes in 2014).

Embedding the commitment to diversity

AmeriHealth Caritas created the position of chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer in 2020, and established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, chaired by CEO and Chairman Paul Tufano. The company also launched two new associate resource groups geared towards Asian American or Pacific Islander associates and members of the LGBTQ+ community, bringing their total to seven ARGs. And AmeriHealth Caritas awarded $160,000 through their First Eight Scholarship for women. This merit- and needs-based scholarship honors the achievement of the first eight women elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly following the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Recognition

Independence Health Group companies continue to be recognized for their leadership, service, and innovation. Some 2020 milestones included:

  • America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) board membership: Greg Deavens, Independence Health Group president and CEO, and Paul Tufano, AmeriHealth Caritas CEO and chairman
  • Forbes America’s Best Employers: Independence Blue Cross, AmeriHealth Caritas
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer Top Workplaces: Independence Blue Cross
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer Diversity & Inclusion Award: AmeriHealth Caritas
  • New Jersey Business and Industry Association Outstanding Employer: AmeriHealth New Jersey
  • NJBIZ Best Place to Work and Top Private Companies: AmeriHealth New Jersey
  • Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC) Regional Corporation of the Year: Independence Blue Cross (2020), AmeriHealth Caritas (2019)
  • Adam Taliaferro Foundation, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Professional Services Award: Independence Blue Cross
  • Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals Hermes Platinum Award: AmeriHealth Caritas In Reach journal

iLead members at a pre-pandemic event

Associate volunteering and giving

The Independence Blue Cross associate volunteer program, the Blue Crew, continued to support nonprofits in the region despite the limitations of the pandemic. Nearly 1,000 Blue Crew members volunteered almost 5,000 hours in 2020 through more than 100 events, half of which were virtual. The Blue Crew celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021, with the company challenging associates to volunteer 20 hours in celebration.

Blue Crew Gives is our reimagined annual associate charitable giving drive. The inaugural campaign in 2020 raised more than $575,000 for nearly 900 regional nonprofit organizations.

More than 55 percent of AmeriHealth Caritas’ associates participated in Care Crew associate volunteer programs, recording more than 42,000 volunteer hours. Through their United Way campaign, AmeriHealth Caritas associates pledged more than $709,490 towards a variety of causes.

Supporting health and well-being in our region

Independence Blue Cross was more active than ever in supporting our region’s civic life, especially around health and well-being, in a difficult year for events. Just a small sampling of our sponsorships includes:

  • The Philadelphia Flower Show
  • The Virtual Blue Cross® Broad Street Run
  • Wawa Welcome America
  • The Pennsylvania Conference for Women
  • The American Heart Association Heart Walk
  • The Be Well Philly Health, Wellness, and Fitness Festival
  • The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Wellness Festival
The Blue Crew continued to support nonprofits throughout the pandemic.

2020 FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Independence Health Group relied on our solid financial foundation to provide ongoing support to members, customers, health care providers, and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We reported total revenue of $21.8 billion, up $2.6 billion or 13.5 percent over 2019. When revenues are combined with claims paid on behalf of self-funded employers, Independence had health care funds under management of $29.5 billion in 2020, up from $27 billion in 2019.

Our strong revenue position reflected the continued trust that our customers have in our ability to keep them safe in their most vulnerable moments. 2020 results were positively driven by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including lower utilization, and the approved Supreme Court settlement tied to the Affordable Care Act’s Risk Corridor Program dating back to the 2014 through 2016 periods. This was partially offset by our investments to protect the physical and mental health of the people and communities we serve and promote public awareness to reduce the spread of COVID-19, plus contributions totaling $40 million to the Independence Blue Cross Foundation and AmeriHealth Caritas Partnership. Our net income of $622 million in 2020 resulted in a margin of 2.9 percent, up from 1.7 percent in 2019.

Looking ahead, Independence stands ready to support our community with a focus on equitable, whole-person health.

Independence Health Group, INC.

Independence Health Group, Inc. delivers innovative health and well-being solutions throughout the region and the nation. Through our subsidiaries, we offer a wide range of market-leading health plans and specialty services.

Our portfolio includes coverage for national businesses, large employer groups, small businesses, and individuals; portable benefits for members who travel or live abroad; Medicare supplemental and Medicare Advantage products; Medicaid; and specialty services such as vision and dental coverage.

In addition, our subsidiaries provide specialty services and products including third-party benefits administration and pharmacy benefits management services. Our national health business includes administration of self-funded groups, network access arrangements, claims processing, and other services on behalf of the 35 other independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans across the nation.

Our Leadership

  • Charles P. Pizzi
    Chairman
  • Joseph A. Frick
    Vice Chairman
  • Thomas A. Leonard, Esq.
    Vice Chairman
  • Yvette D. Bright
  • A. Bruce Crawley
  • Nicholas DeBenedictis
  • Pasquale T. Deon, Sr.
  • Patrick B. Gillespie
  • Nicholas A. Giordano
  • John J. Griffin
  • Daniel J. Hilferty
  • Christina L. Jenkins, M.D.
  • *Andrew L. Lewis IV
  • Charisse R. Lillie, Esq.
  • J. William Mills III
  • Denis P. O’Brien
  • Pedro A. Ramos, Esq.
  • William R. Sasso, Esq.
  • William R. Sautter
  • Frank G. Spencer

As of December 31, 2020
*Andrew L. Lewis IV served on the board until his passing on April 17, 2021

  • Daniel J. Hilferty
    President and Chief Executive Officer (retired December 31, 2020)
  • Gregory E. Deavens
    Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer (until December 31, 2020)*
  • Paul A. Tufano, Esq.
    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AmeriHealth Caritas
  • Donna Crilley Farrell
    Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
  • Stephen P. Fera
    Executive Vice President, Public Affairs
  • Regina Heffernan
    Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Thomas A. Hutton
    Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
  • Paul J. Kane
    Senior Vice President, Actuarial, Underwriting and Chief Risk Officer
  • Daphne Klausner
    Senior Vice President, Senior Markets
  • Kimberly Kockler
    Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
  • Susan Larkin
    Senior Vice President, Health Markets
  • Brian Lobley
    EVP and Chief Operating Officer (as of March 25, 2020)
  • Juan A. Lopez, Jr.
    Senior Vice President, Finance Shared Services

  • Anthony J. Maleno
    Senior Vice President, Operations

  • Brett A. Mayfield
    Senior Vice President, Sales

  • Peter Panageas
    Senior Vice President, Sales

  • Marcy F. Rost
    Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Communications Officer

  • Richard L. Snyder, M.D.
    Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, Facilitated Health Networks

  • Michael Sullivan
    President and SVP Diversified Businesses

  • Paula J. Sunshine
    Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Executive

  • Michael R. Vennera
    Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer

  • Patrick Y. Yung
    Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategic Investing

As of December 31, 2020
The executive team of Independence Health Group, Inc.
Independence Health Group, Inc., is the parent company of Independence Blue Cross, LLC, and its subsidiaries and affiliates.

*Gregory E. Deavens assumed the role of president and chief executive officer effective January 1, 2021