Class # 8 "Blue Cross and Blue Shield" 

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is a federation of 36 separate United States health insurance organizations and companies, providing health insurance to more than 106 million Americans. Blue Cross was founded in 1929 and became the Blue Cross Association in 1960, while Blue Shield emerged in 1939 and the Blue Shield Association was created in 1948. The two organizations merged in 1982.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance companies are licensees, independent of the association and traditionally of each other, offering insurance plans within defined regions under one or both association’s brands. Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers offer some form of health insurance coverage in every U.S. state. They also act as administrators of Medicare in many states or regions of the US and provide coverage to state government employees as well as to the federal government employees under a nationwide option of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Blue Shield was developed by employers in lumber and mining camps of the Pacific Northwest to provide medical care by paying monthly fees to medical service bureaus composed of groups of physicians. In 1939, the first official Blue Shield plan was founded in California. In 1948, the symbol was informally adopted by nine plans called the Associated Medical Care Plan, and was later renamed the National Association of Blue Shield Plans. In the 1960s the US government chose to partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to administer Medicare.

The official Blue Cross and Blue Shield website is: https://www.bcbs.com/



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