Business Strategy and Outlook| Julie Utterback, CFA |
Elevance Health (formerly called Anthem) continues to capitalize on its enviable position as the exclusive licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand in 14 states. We would argue that the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand is the most recognizable and trusted franchise in the U.S. health insurance industry. As the largest Blue Cross Blue Shield operator, Elevance recently overtook UnitedHealth as the largest medical insurer in the U.S. after acquiring a top-tier Medicare and Medicaid insurer in Puerto Rico. Elevance's position is particularly impressive given its limited geographic reach compared with UnitedHealth's national network. Specifically, Elevance's market share dives deep in its license states where it insures about one out of every 3 people. This high local market share remains particularly valuable in health insurance since medical-care providers typically only operate in limited geographic areas, making local market share the most relevant to most reimbursement negotiations.