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Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Insurance Company Details

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association logo.png Logo of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Headquarters of one of the member Blues, HCSC, in Chicago.
Founded1929; 91 years ago (1929)
Tax ID no.
13-5656874Legal status 501(c)(4) public welfare organizationLocation
  • Michigan Plaza
    Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates 41°53′11″N87°37′26″W / 41.8864516°N 87.6239771°W / 41.8864516; -87.6239771Coordinates: 41°53′11″N87°37′26″W / 41.8864516°N 87.6239771°W / 41.8864516; -87.6239771Products Health insurance PPOs and HMOs
Interim Chief Executive Officer
David LesarSubsidiariesHealth Services Foundation,
BC and BS Foundation on Health Care,
BCBSA Services Inc
Revenue
(2014)
$457,383,677Expenses

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Plans details Review

  • Michigan Plaza
    Chicago, Illinois

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is a federation of 36 separate United States health insurance companies that provide health insurance in the United States to more than 106 million people. It was formed in 1982 from the merger of its two namesake organizations: 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.

In the healthcare insurance industry, the organization is known as “The Association” and has two offices: in Chicago and Washington, D.C. The main office is in Chicago in the Illinois Center at 225 North Michigan Avenue. The BCBSA claims to control access to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield trademarks and names across the United States and in more than 170 other countries, which it then licenses to the affiliated companies for specific, exclusive geographic service areas. It has affiliated plans in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as licensees offering plans in several foreign countries; it also operates a nationwide health insurance program for employees of the United States federal government. The BCBSA manages communications between its members and the operating policies required to be a licensee of the trademarks. This permits each BCBSA company to offer nationwide insurance coverage even though it operates only in its designated service area.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association History

  • Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
  • Indian Health Service
  • Medicaid / State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
  • Medicare
  • Prescription Assistance (SPAP)
  • Military Health System / TRICARE
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
  • Veterans Health Administration
  • Consumer-driven healthcare

    • Flexible spending account (FSA)
    • Health Reimbursement Account
    • Health savings account (HSA)

      • High-deductible health plan (HDHP)
      • Medical savings account (MSA)
    • Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS)
  • Health insurance in the United States
  • Managed care (CCP)

    • Exclusive provider organization (EPO)
    • Health maintenance organization (HMO)
    • Preferred provider organization (PPO)
  • Medical underwriting
  • Flexible spending account (FSA)
  • Health Reimbursement Account
  • Health savings account (HSA)

    • High-deductible health plan (HDHP)
    • Medical savings account (MSA)
  • Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS)
  • High-deductible health plan (HDHP)
  • Medical savings account (MSA)
  • Exclusive provider organization (EPO)
  • Health maintenance organization (HMO)
  • Preferred provider organization (PPO)
  • Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (1986)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (1996)
  • Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (2003)
  • Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (2005)
  • Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (2009)
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010)
  • Healthcare in California

    • Healthy San Francisco
    • Healthy Way LA
    • My Health LA
  • Fair Share Health Care Act (Maryland)
  • Healthy Howard (Howard Co., Maryland)
  • Healthy San Francisco
  • Healthy Way LA
  • My Health LA
  • v
  • t
  • e

Blue Cross and Blue Shield developed separately, with Blue Cross providing coverage for hospital services and Blue Shield covering physicians’ services.

Blue Cross is a name used by an association of health insurance plans throughout the United States. Its predecessor was developed by Justin Ford Kimball in 1929, while he was vice president of Baylor University’s health care facilities in Dallas, Texas. The first plan guaranteed teachers 21 days of hospital care for $6 a year, and was later extended to other employee groups in Dallas, and then nationally. The American Hospital Association (AHA) adopted the Blue Cross symbol in 1939 as the emblem for plans meeting certain standards. In 1960, the AHA commission was superseded by the Blue Cross Association. Blue Cross severed its ties with the AHA in 1972.

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 U.S. government chose to partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to administer Medicare.

In 1982, Blue Shield merged with The Blue Cross Association to form the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBS).

Prior to 1986, organizations administering BCBS were tax exempt under 501(c)(4) as social welfare plans. However, the Tax Reform Act of 1986 revoked the exemption, because the plans sold commercial-type insurance. They became 501(m) organizations, subject to federal taxation, but entitled to “special tax benefits” under IRC 833.

In 1994, BCBS changed to allow its licensees to be for-profit corporations.
During 2010, Health Care Service Corporation, the parent company of BCBS in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana and Illinois, nearly doubled its income to $1.09 billion in 2010, and began four years of billion-dollar profits.
In the final spending bill for FY 2015 after much lobbying since 2010, nonprofit Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans continue to have special tax breaks that were understood to be threatened by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Current organization

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 of the 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 U.S.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP) is a nationwide option under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) for U.S. federal government employees and retirees, and has been part of FEHB since FEHB’s inception in 1960. FEP enrolls over half of the federal workforce, with over 5 million members, making it the largest insurer of federal employees and the largest single health plan group in the world.

The association has its headquarters in the Michigan Plaza complex in the Chicago Loop area of Chicago, Illinois.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Member companies

  • Anthem

    • Anthem BlueCross and BlueShield
      • Colorado
      • Connecticut
      • Georgia
      • Indiana
      • Kentucky
      • Maine
      • Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area)
      • Nevada
      • New Hampshire
      • Ohio
      • Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.)
      • Wisconsin
    • Anthem Blue Cross (California)
    • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
    • Empire BlueCross BlueShield (New York)
  • Triple-S Management Corporation (BlueCross & BlueShield Puerto Rico)
  • Anthem BlueCross and BlueShield
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Georgia
    • Indiana
    • Kentucky
    • Maine
    • Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area)
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • Ohio
    • Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.)
    • Wisconsin
  • Anthem Blue Cross (California)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
  • Empire BlueCross BlueShield (New York)
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area)
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.)
  • Wisconsin
  • CareFirst

    • District of Columbia
    • Maryland
    • Parts of Virginia
  • Health Care Service Corporation

    • BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois
    • BlueCross BlueShield of Montana
    • BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico
    • BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma
    • BlueCross BlueShield of Texas
  • Highmark

    • Highmark BlueCross BlueShield (Western and Northeastern Pennsylvania)
    • Highmark BlueShield (Eastern & Central Pennsylvania)
    • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware (Delaware)
    • Highmark BlueCross BlueShield West Virginia (formerly Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield) (West Virginia)
  • Premera

    • Premera BlueCross BlueShield of Alaska
    • Premera BlueCross (Washington)
  • Cambia Health Solutions

    • Regence BlueShield of Idaho
    • Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon
    • Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
    • Regence BlueShield (Washington)
  • Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

    • Iowa
    • South Dakota
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Parts of Virginia
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Montana
  • BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Texas
  • Highmark BlueCross BlueShield (Western and Northeastern Pennsylvania)
  • Highmark BlueShield (Eastern & Central Pennsylvania)
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware (Delaware)
  • Highmark BlueCross BlueShield West Virginia (formerly Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield) (West Virginia)
  • Premera BlueCross BlueShield of Alaska
  • Premera BlueCross (Washington)
  • Regence BlueShield of Idaho
  • Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon
  • Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
  • Regence BlueShield (Washington)
  • Iowa
  • South Dakota
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona
  • Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield
  • Blue Shield of California
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Florida (branded as Florida Blue)
  • Capital Health Plan (Big Bend region of Florida)
  • Hawaii Medical Service Association
  • Blue Cross of Idaho
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (Central New York, Rochester and Utica/Watertown)
  • BlueShield of Northeastern New York (A division of HealthNow New York Inc.)
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York (A division of HealthNow New York Inc.)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
  • Capital Blue Cross (Central Pennsylvania)
  • Independence Blue Cross (Philadelphia, Southeastern Pennsylvania)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
  • BlueCross BlueShield of the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Wyoming
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Costa Rica
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Panama
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Uruguay

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Idaho

Blue Cross of Idaho and Regence Blue Shield of Idaho are separate companies and compete throughout the state.

Regence Blue Shield of Idaho announced a strategic alliance (not a merger) with Blue Cross North Carolina.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Pennsylvania

Though historically “Blue Cross” was used for hospital coverage while “Blue Shield” was used for medical coverage, today that split only exists for traditional health insurance plans in Pennsylvania. Two independent companies operate in central Pennsylvania, Highmark Blue Shield (Pittsburgh) and Capital Blue Cross (Central Pennsylvania) . In southeastern Pennsylvania, Independence Blue Cross (Philadelphia) has a joint marketing agreement with Highmark Blue Shield (Pittsburgh) for their separate hospital and medical plans. However, Independence Blue Cross, like most of its sister Blue Cross-Blue Shield companies, cover most of their customers under managed care plans such as HMOs and PPOs which provide hospital and medical care in one policy.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Nonprofit status debate

While only some members retain nonprofit status, the ones that do have been criticized for holding excessive amounts of cash or excessive executive compensation. In 2014, BC/BS of Illinois (Health Care Service Corporation) was sued over its nonprofit status, with the lawsuit dismissed with prejudice and the ruling upheld on appeal. Similar suits occurred with similar results in other states such as Oregon.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association For-profit conversions

Conversions into for-profit corporations typically results in distribution of some of the assets into a charitable foundation. When Blue Cross of California was converted, it initially had no distribution, but subsequently The California Endowment and California Health Care Foundation were endowed with $3.2b. Proceeds ranged from $3.2b (California) to $1.5m (Nevada).

An exceptional case occurred in the Empire Blue Cross conversion, where the proceeds went to fund wage increases for union workers.

  • Blue Cross Canada

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official websiteEdit this at Wikidata
Updated: April 22, 2020 — 11:37 pm

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