"The [Washington, D.C.]-based affiliate of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is meeting its obligation as a charitable nonprofit but has a greater civic responsibility and "can and should do more" to promote community health, the D.C. commissioner stated in a report ...I don't think ordinary citizens would agree that selling insurance policies is quite the same as engaging in charity -- even if, as CareFirst contends, it is trying to minimize premium hikes.
Commissioner Lawrence H. Mirel concluded that, as a $1 billion company, [D.C.'s CareFirst] should be "engaging in charitable activity significantly beyond its current activities." He pointed to capitol reserves well in excess of industry standards ...
... a 129-page legal and economic analysis by the DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice ... faulted CareFirst and its affiliate for paltry charitable spending.
... Mirel disagreed with Appleseed's calculation and concurred with the company's view that it met its legal duty under the (1939 charitable-status) charter by selling insurance to its 1.24 million subscribers in the city [and suburban Washington].
A more interesting question is whether D.C. Carefirst executives truly want the insurer to be a charitable organization. As the Post article notes:
The insurer has faced public pressure since its failed attempt in 2003 to convert to a for-profit.