Blue Cross Blue Shield operator did not pay federal taxes in 2018, got $1.7B refund

Blue Cross Blue Shield operator did not pay federal taxes in 2018, got $1.7B refund
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Health Care Service Corp., which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in a handful of states, did not pay any federal taxes in 2018 and received a $1.7 billion tax refund, according to its latest financial report.

The tax refund boosted the health insurance conglomerate's net profit to $4.1 billion last year, compared to $1.3 billion in 2017, according to Axios, which first reported about Health Care Service's tax refund.

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Axios noted that Health Care Service was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the GOP tax cut and has experienced rising profits from its health plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Health Care Service oversees Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

The company said it had benefited from the repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax in 2018 after remaining credits were included.

“We historically paid the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and because of the repeal of the corporate AMT system (the 2017 Tax Reform and Jobs Act), companies that had remaining AMT credits were able to recover those credits," said Health Care Service communications director Greg Thompson in an email.