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Pioneering health coverage since 1929

For 90 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies have provided secure and stable healthcare coverage to people in communities across the country. BCBS grew out of a grassroots approach to a prepaid hospital plan in 1929.

The 36 independent and locally operated BCBS companies take what we learn from covering 1 in 3 Americans to make healthcare work better for everyone.

Today, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies cover:
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80 of America's Fortune
100 employers
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7 million
people who work for small employers
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More than 17 million
unionized workers, retirees and their families—the #1 choice for organized labor
People Millions of Americans through government-supported healthcare programs, including:
5.6 million
federal workers through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program — the top choice for federal workers
7.1 million
through Medicaid programs
3.3 million
through Medicare Advantage
4.1 million
through Medigap supplemental insurance
1.4 million
through Medicare Part D Rx drug plans
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD:
PIONEERING HEALTH COVERAGE SINCE 1929
1929

1929

Blue Cross established at Baylor University for Dallas public school teachers.

A Minnesota plan first to adopt blue Greek cross logo; others follow suit.

1930

1930

Blue Shield companies launch, covering the cost of physician care.

Blue Shield symbol, devised in Buffalo, N.Y., is adopted by growing number of Blue Shield companies.

1933

1933

America's first "Blue Cross Baby" is born in Durham, N.C.

1935

1935

National Labor Relations Act passes, prompting employers to offer health insurance.

More Americans seek care, some see doctor for the first time.

1939

1939

More than 3 million people have health coverage through BCBS companies. Still, fewer than 10 percent of Americans are insured.

1955

1955

BCBS logo becomes a trusted symbol as nearly seven out of 10 Americans have health coverage.

1960

1960

Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) is established.

BCBS creates its first Federal Employees Program® (FEP®), initially enrolling 33 percent of federal employees. Now, FEP is the top choice for federal workers, with 5.6 million enrolled.

1965

1965

Medicare enacted; government turns to BCBS to help establish systems serving more than 19 million in first year.

1965

1965

BCBS companies establish National Labor Office (NLO), becoming first to devote an office solely to organized labor's needs.