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Gaining access to health insurance might have been difficult for you in the past. Now no more since we have acquired the authorization to provide Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance to you. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association have been around for the last 75 years serving people with the best coverage through its 39 locally operated companies. Throughout its operational years it has been able to win the hearts of millions of people by suggesting them health coverage that would suit their needs the best. The major reason why Blue Cross and Blue Shield have been popularly accepted is their financial stability on one hand and customer service on the other. No wonder 99 million have bestowed their faith in the organization.

The following are some health plans offered by the Association

Alabama, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Alaska, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield | Arizona, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield | California, Anthem Blue Cross | California, Blue Shield | Colorado, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Connecticut, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Delaware, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | District of Columbia, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield | Florida, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Georgia, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Hawaii Medical Service Association | Idaho, Blue Cross | Idaho, Regence BlueShield of Idaho | Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Indiana, Wellpoint, Inc. | Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Kansas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Kentucky, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Louisiana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Maine, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Maryland, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield | Massachusetts, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Michigan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Minnesota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Mississippi, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Missouri, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield | Missouri, BlueCross and BlueShield of Kansas City | Montana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Nebraska, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Nevada, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield | New Hampshire, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield | New Jersey, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield | New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | New York, BlueCross & BlueShield of Western | New York, BlueShield of Northeastern | New York, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield | New York, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield | North Carolina, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | North Dakota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Ohio, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Oklahoma, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon | Pennsylvania, Blue Cross of Northeastern -- Wilkes-Barre | Pennsylvania, Highmark Blue Shield | Pennsylvania, Capital Blue Cross -- Harrisburg | Pennsylvania, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield -- Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania, Independence Blue Cross -- Philadelphia | Puerto Rico, La Cruz Azul de | Puerto Rico, Triple-S | Rhode Island, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | South Carolina, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | South Dakota, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Tennessee, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Texas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Utah, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah | Vermont, Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Virginia, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Washington, Premera Blue Cross | Washington, Regence BlueShield | West Virginia, Mountain State Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Wisconsin, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Wyoming, Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

Had not the merger of 1982 happened between the National Association of Blue Shield Plans and the Blue Cross Association, United States would not have felt the health insurance revolution. Both the comprising organizations have their own health plan histories. The association is now based in Chicago and has 39 independent companies working under it. But the existence of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield label goes back to 75 years in time. Since then it has served more than 99 million in various areas of health insurance. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield System provides health coverage through Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), indemnity insurance, Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), service plans that come for a fee and even point-of-service plans. Since the plans re diverse in nature, any US resident can hope to benefit from them.

The History of BCBSA

The identity of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association people see today is not complete without the history that trails behind it. It was in 1929 that the Blue Cross label saw daylight when Dr. Justin Kimball of the Baylor Hospital introduced a plan for school teachers that would cost $6 for a duration of 21 days. As for Blue Shield, its history is as old as 1917 when rail road workers in the Pacific Northwest area started availing physician services for a monthly fee. The collaboration between the two brands started somewhere during the 1940s but it was only in 1982 that the BCBSA was formed so that the 39 companies working individually get greater leverage over the market as a whole. Presently, the BCBSA labels are recognized and revered in more than 170 nations.

Contrary to the common belief, companies working independently under the BCBSA do not have anything directly to do with the association. They not only have separate identities from the BCBSA but also from each other. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand have considerable hold over the health insurance market and at least one company promoting the same can be found in each US state. Apart from US residents BCBSA also provides health coverage to employees under the various State Governments and also to the Federal Government. The latter reaps the benefits of the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP). This plan provides coverage to about 4.5 million employees and their dependants.

Traditionally the two Blue brands were meant to address two separate issues - Blue Cross was meant mainly for hospital coverage while Blue Shield was meant for medical coverage. Today the distinction is not so profound except in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. Here Highmark Blue Shield of Pittsburgh acts in coordination with Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania on their separate hospital and medical plans. Independence Blue Cross, much like its sister concerns, though, provide such plans that comprise not only medical but also hospital coverage.

Types of Health Coverage

The whole of United States feel indebted to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield network for the quality of the service they provide. Internationally too, the association has made quite a name for itself providing valuable service to customers no matter where they are. Coverage options in the US range from HMOs (Health Maintenance Organization), PPOs (Preferred Provider Organization), POSs (Point of Service) to HSAs (Health Savings Account), FSAs (Flexible Spending Account) and HRAs (Health Reimbursement Arrangement). If a person is traveling inside the US the Blue Card Away from Home Care Program suffices the best while traveling outside the US requires the person to sign up for the Blue Card Worldwide coverage. The association has also made adequate arrangements for people living or working outside the US - They can avail the advantages of the Blue Worldwide Expat coverage. The best part about BCBSA coverage is that they strive to provide affordable coverage to its customer base.

Companies under the BCBSA

Talking of publicly traded companies, BCBSA has only one under it - Wellpoint. It acts as a licensee to the -

  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Connecticut
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Indiana
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kentucky
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nevada
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Hampshire
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Ohio
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in certain parts of Virginia
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin
  • Blue Cross of California
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (New York)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia

Among private companies there is CareFirst, Premera, HighMark, The Regence Group, Health Care Service Corporation and WellMark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Regional companies include the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Delaware, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Missouri), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield (West Virginia), Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield (New York State) and Independence Blue Cross (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area) amongst others.

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