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Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)

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Health Care Service Corporation - HCSC

Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)

Among the many companies operating under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Network, the Health Care Service Corporation is also one. It is essentially a non- investor owned mutual insurance company that is powered by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield label. Under the famous Blue brands, it serves Oklahoma, Illinois, New Mexico and Texas The organizationís massive operations has led to its achieving a name as the largest non- investor- owned mutual insurance company in the US. Globally too, the Health Care Service Corporation has been able to take fourth spot in the health insurance arena.

In 1929 after Justin Ford Kimball came up with a pre- paid health plan, the first of its kind, physicians and medical officials based in Chicago made use of his idea to create a health insurance option that would come at an affordable price. Thus in 1936 they accumulated a sum of money and gave birth to the Chicago Plan for Hospital Care. And it was in 1937 that the fist health plan made its way out from this company.

The popularity of pre- paid health plans grew rapidly in Chicago and this company, initially given the name Hospital Service Corporation, pulled in a record 36, 000 members over a period of six months. The effect of the Blues could not stay away for too long and in 1939 the company formally took on the Blue Cross name and in 1947 that of Blue Shield.

It was much later in 1975 that the Health Care Service Corporation took shape as a result of a merger between the two wings- the Blue Cross plan aimed at hospital services and the Blue Shield plan aimed at medical services. Gradually several Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans joined the company- Illinois, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma- and since then there has been no looking back for the organization. Today the company serves more than 12 million customers through its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

Health Care Service Corporation also has a number of subsidiaries and divisions that mete out various benefits and services to customers. The organization namely has four divisions- the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.

The major subsidiaries of the organization are the Dental Network of America Inc., the Hallmark Services Corporation and the Preferred Financial Group. The Dental Network of America provides managed care through Dental Preferred Provider Organization (DPPO) and Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) amongst other services. The Hallmark Services Corporation oversees administrative functions on behalf of the Health Care Service Corporation and offers underwriting and claims recovery amongst other services. The Preferred Financial Group comprises the Fort Dearborn Life Insurance Company and the Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Company. The Fort Dearborn Life Insurance Company provides group dental insurance and insurance for short- term disability. The Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Company offers individual and family plans amongst others.

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