blue cross & blue shield

Blue Cross & Blue Shield 

Introduction: Definition

The Blue cross and blue shield insurance company is an association consisting of about forty independent insurance companies, which provide community based programs in almost all the States of America and beyond. In fact, this company has subsidiary branches in more than 170 regions worldwide. This group of insurance companies represents the oldest health insurance providers having been in operation for the past eighty years. It is the largest provider with statistics indicating that one in three Americans are covered by the Blue cross and Blue shield insurance premium, and more than 100 million people purchase these products annually. In addition to this, more than eighty percent of private physicians and about ninety percent of the health units have signed health cover contracts with this company.


Blue cross and blue shield insurance companies developed as separate entities. Blue cross used to provide coverage for services from health units and hospitals while Blue Shield concentrated on providing coverage for physician services. Blue cross was incorporated in 1929 with its first plan being a guarantee for teachers in Dallas, Texas who would receive twenty-one days of health care in hospitals for an annual fee of $6. This service attracted the attention of employees in the other sectors who were later on included in the plan. The Blue shield on the other hand was incorporated in the 1900s by employers in a Pacific Northwest mining company with an aim of providing pre-paid medical services to its employees who would be expected to pay on a monthly basis. They contracted with physicians in the medical service bureaus who would provide health care services for their employees. These two companies merged in the 1980s and this contributed to their massive success in the provision of health insurance premium cover.

Mission statement and Statistics

Blue cross and blue shield association is a private company that was incorporated in 1982. It has more than 1000 employees and is rated among the top 20 employment providers in the United States. Its annual turnover amounts to approximately $ 134 millions with around 7000 copyright owners and Lessors. Besides these, it provides more than 6500 medical and hospital service plans. The mission statement of this company is “to provide health benefit services of value to customers across the region.” To accomplish this mission, Blue cross and Blue shield are committed to, (1) Offering a wide range of good quality insurance cover which are affordable to the low-income group, (2) Address the specific customer needs, (3) Ensure the plan is organized in such a way that it is sustainable in the long run, (4) Support the efforts of the public and private organizations in providing health care services for the needy and (5) Join forces with the community in improving the quality and effectiveness of the health care services.

What it does, location, telephone numbers, contact person

Blue cross and blue shield company operates as a franchise in providing healthcare insurance cover to the residents of the United States. They are the administrators of Medicare, a body that provides health care to the state and federal government employees. Other affiliate organizations include the Regence group and CareFirst Company both of which are providers of medical services. Its headquarters are located in Chicago and Washington, DC, with branches spread all over the United States and beyond the borders. The physical address is, 676 North St. Clair Street, Chicago Illinois 60611, USA. The telephone contact is (312) 440-6000 and the Fax is (312) 440-6609. The Washington, DC’s office’s address is, 1310 G Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20005. These contacts are available for twenty-four hours to provide client services round the clock. Representatives are always on the line waiting to provide any required information.


Blue cross and blue shield companies provide a wide range of benefit plans, which are advantageous to the customers at all levels. These are classified as either the standard option or the basic option. The standard option gives the customers the freedom to visit any doctor that has been licensed by the state and it mostly covers the government employees. The second option is the basic option that includes low premium rates. Under this plan, deductibles are not applicable making it cheaper and more affordable to the majority. Other benefits enjoyed by the Blue cross and Blue shield include online services whereby it is possible to purchase insurance premium over the internet, Blue365®, a plan that provides discounts for family coverage, walking works®, which includes physical exercises in the health insurance plan and the drug discount program, which ensures that drugs are available to the members at a low cost.

Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantage of Blue cross and blue shield insurance companies is that it is accessible, affordable and the members are assured of quality health care services in the designated health centers. The main disadvantage on the other hand is that the staff client ratio is disproportional in the sense that the employees are few compared to the clients they are supposed to serve. This makes their service provision slow.

Copayments and deductibles

The health insurance plan provided by Blue cross and blue shield Companies is characterized by subsidized copayments for visits to the doctors and medicine prescriptions under the Blue advantage plan. This plan also provides a wide array of deductibles in relation to the type of medication required. These are important since they ensure that the cost of medical cover is predictable, and the customers are able to budget for it.

Eligibility requirements

Any person working and with a stable income is eligible to purchase Blue cross and Blue shield health insurance coverage. This is irrespective of the level of income, since there are different premiums to choose from depending on the income earned.

Coverage and premium

Blue cross and blue shield insurance Companies provide premiums covering a wide range of health problems. For example, health problems related to vision are taken care of by an affiliate company known as EyeMed vision care. They provide medication as well as eyewear products to their clients. They also provide a cover for dental care which can be obtained as a package of the general medical cover or specifically as dental care cover. Dental care services include cleaning, mouth X-rays, fillings among other dental procedures. They offer a wide variety of premiums covering people from all age groups. Children have separate premiums which are upgraded as they grow up. The elderly are also provided with different premiums that suit their health needs.

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