Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, an independent, locally operated licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, has been providing low cost medical and dental insurance health care coverage exclusively to Montanans for almost 70 years.
In 1929, a prototype prepaid hospital plan was created in Dallas, Texas to help teachers pay for hospital costs. For a monthly contribution of $0.50 to the Baylor University Hospital, the teachers were guaranteed of up to 21 days of paid hospital care. In 1934, the organization selected a blue cross as its logo. As the plan continued to grow, the blue cross began to show up in other parts of the country, and in 1946, the Blue Cross Commission was formed as the early national organization of Blue Cross Plans.
In the early 1900′s, a health coverage plan was growing out of lumber and mining camps in the Pacific Northwest. Employers wanted to provide medical care for their workers, so they arranged to pay local physicians a monthly fee for the services the employees used. These pioneer programs provided the basis for what would become the modern Blue Shield Plans. The blue shield logo was inspired by the U.S. Army Medical Corps insignia and the serpent associated with Greek mythology. This image along with the blue shield would come to represent the Blue Shield Plans, the first of which was formed in 1947, as Associated Medical Care Plans.
The Hospital Service Association (Blue Cross) entered Montana in 1940 and the Blue Shield (Montana Physicians’ Service — MPS) in 1946. A local medical community of about 200 physicians loaned the company $20,000 (each contributed $100) and then agreed to accept MPS compensation as payment-in-full for their services, a standard which continues today for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana customers. The two companies, the Hospital Service Association and the Montana Physicians’ Service, partnered from 1946 until 1952, when the Hospital Service Association moved to Great Falls, and in 1964, became Blue Cross of Montana.
In 1986, the two companies merged to form Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana.
Montana’s largest and oldest health insurance company
Our name is linked with exceptional service and cost-effective, innovative products. For more than six decades, we have provided our customers with the security of knowing they have health care when they need it. Today, as a not-for-profit health plan, we continue to provide that security, and our mission is to help people lead healthier lives.
All Across Montana, we:
- Serve 236,000 members
Have Provider Networks that include:
- 1,900+ Physicians (licensed and credentialed)
- All Montana Hospitals
- 2,800+ Allied health care providers
(Information updated as of 2011 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana’s website)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana in the News
- Enrollment rises for Montana health insurance exchange - Billings Gazette
- Some Montana air ambulance providers say their hands are tied over huge bills; insurance companies disagree - Billings Gazette
- Taco del Hub: Downtown Helena restaurants expanding to East Helena - Helena Independent Record
- Southwest Montana medical facilities boost local economy - Montana Standard
- Montana Healthcare Foundation Issues Call For Proposals - Newstalkkgvo