Providence City Council President Questions Proposed Blue Cross Blue Shield Move

Apr 20, 2017

In response to news that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island plans to move its customer operations from downtown Providence to East Providence, Providence City Council President Luis Aponte says the move merits attention from councilors.

In a statement Wednesday, Aponte points to the Tax Stabilization Agreement Blue Cross benefited from when they moved to Providence. Aponte says the TSA was granted with the idea that Blue Cross employees would contribute to the city’s economy.

“The City did not enter into this sort of a generous TSA only to have Blue Cross slowly but surely become a glorified landlord,” said Aponte.

Spokeswoman for Blue Cross, Jill Flaxington, says customer service accounts for less than 15 percent of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s downtown campus workforce.

Flaxington also says the TSA Aponte points to has no provision requiring a certain number of jobs remain in the state.

Meanwhile, Aponte says he seeks a meeting with the President of the company to discuss the decision.