There are some names that just ring a bell when you’re shopping for insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of those names.
That’s because you probably know plenty of people who are already members. There are more than 94 million people in all 50 states enrolled in plans offered through the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. The majority are enrolled in PPO plans — though the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies also offer HMO, POS, and FFS plans, too.
Blue Cross Blue Shield isn’t a single company. There are 58 companies in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico that use the Blue Cross or Blue Shield name. All of these companies are members the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Blue Cross got its start back in 1929. An administrator name Justin Kimball was put in charge of the School of Medicine and the hospital at Baylor University in Dallas, Texas. He created a plan that gave the university’s teachers health coverage. The plan cost $6 a year — equal to about $65 today. Kimball’s plan was popular, and it spread to other groups in the Dallas area. Before long, similar plans were spreading throughout the country.
The name “Blue Cross” didn’t come until later. In 1934 the plan that would eventually become Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota created poster advertisements that included a blue cross. The posters were a hit, and the name stuck.
Blue Shield got its start a little earlier. The first of these plans was started in 1917, and was called the “Pierce County Medical Bureau.” Today the same company is called Regence Blue Shield.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association was created in 1982. Today, 99% of hospitals and 89% of physicians work with the Blue Cross Blue Shield companies.
To enroll in a plan offered by one the Blue Cross Blue Shield companies in your area, start with quotes from local agents. Our free quote service will match you with agents in your area who can find you affordable coverage from the Blue Cross Blue Shield companies — and many other major carriers.
To get started, just fill out this short form to request your free quotes.
You can contact Blue Cross Blue Shield at:
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
225 North Michigan
Chicago, IL 60601