The Blue Cross Story

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"The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is the largest private well being insurance system in the United States (such as Puerto Rico) and Canada. It is composed of 55 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans that collectively provided health care coverage to over 88 million folks in 2003.
For its beginnings we want to go back to 1929 to a man namedJustin Ford Kimball when he became vice president of Baylor University in Dallas, Texas. He was an seasoned administrator, as he headed the College of Medicine, School of Nursing, College of Dentistry, and the university hospital.
Soon following taking the job, he developed a health plan that guaranteed teachers 21 days of hospital care for 50 cents amonth. The plan soon spread to other employee groups in Dallas, and then related plans began to crop up nation-wide.
Meanwhile, around the identical time that Kimball was producing his plan, the Blue Shield concept was becoming common in the lumber and mining camps of the Pacific Northwest. Significant injuries and chronic illness were typical among these workers who were in very hazardous and dangerous jobs.
Their employers saw the need to offer medical care for them and they arranged with physicians to pay them a monthly fee to take care of the medical requirements of the workers. These programs would later turn out to be what is known as the Blue Shield Plans.
As for the cross symbol, it was very first used in a 1934 advertisement for the Hospital Service Association, which later became recognized as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
Joseph Binder, a Viennese artist, was hired by Company secretary E.A. van Steenwyk to develop a poster that included a blue Greek cross. Van Steenwyk utilised the symbol to determine his companys wellness plans and then Blue Cross began to use it in other parts of the country.
In 1939, the American Hospital Association, which was based in Chicago, began to use the Blue Cross symbol to indicate that wellness plans around the country met particular standards.
The AHA continued to use the symbol till 1960 when the Blue Cross Association was founded. The two organizations remained affiliated until 1972.
The shield symbol was designed in Buffalo, New York by Carl Metzger in 1939 and the first official Blue Shield program was founded in California that identical year. Carl Metzger was an early pioneer in the Blue movement and he wanted a design that would distinguish the new medical service strategy.
It soon flourished as the number of Blue Shield Plans kept on growing. In 1948 the symbol was informally adopted by nine plans known as the Linked Medical Care Strategy, which was later renamed the National Association of Blue Shield Plans.
Over the years, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield healthcare insurance concepts took hold. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association was formed in 1982 by a merger of the Blue Cross Association and the National Association of Blue Shield Plans. When the Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations merged, their brand symbols also merged and became one particular of the most familiar symbols in America.
To show you how large it has become, in 2003, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association took in $182.7 billion in income. The evolution of managed wellness care in the United States is intimately linked to the designs of Blue Cross-Blue Shield. mary ellen tribby"
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