Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield- Low cost medical and dental insurance quotes « Health Insurance Advisory

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield  Low cost medical and dental insurance quotes

Premera is a health benefits company serving 1.6 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.  We provide low cost medical and dental insurance, life, vision, long-term care coverage, and other related services.

Fast Facts

Premera Blue Cross is headquartered in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., with operations in Seattle and Spokane, Wash., and Anchorage, Alaska.  The company and its predecessors have operated in Washington since 1933 and in Alaska since 1952.

About Premera Blue Cross

  • More than 1.5 million members in Washington and Alaska
  • Fiscal Year 2009 revenues in Washington and Alaska of $2.9 billion
  • A network of 27,000 healthcare professionals in Washington and Alaska
  • More than 2,800 employees in Washington and Alaska

About the Premera Family of Companies

  • Consolidated 2009 revenues: $3.1 billion
  • Nearly 3,000 employees
  • A network of more than 35,000 healthcare providers

Blue Cross Plan Is Born in Dallas

The nationwide Blue Cross organization can be traced to a hospital prepayment plan for schoolteachers. Justin Ford Kimball started the plan in 1929 for the Baylor University Hospital in Dallas.  For a prepayment of 50 cents a month, the plan provided 21 days of hospitalization in a semi-private room.

Plans began forming across the country, each associated with a single hospital.  By 1932, community-wide Plans emerged, offering subscribers a choice of hospitals.  In 1933, the American Hospital Association began to encourage the development of such Plans and began to regulate and approve them.  The same year, the Plan in St. Paul, Minnesota, began using a blue cross, which was officially adopted by the American Hospital Association in 1939.

On June 30, 1972, ownership of the Blue Cross symbol and name passed to the Blue Cross Association.  On Feb. 27, 1973, a new symbol was introduced: a blue Greek cross with a stylized human figure in its center.

Blue Cross Comes to Pacific Northwest in 1945

After World War II, business boomed with healthy, happy working people anxious to ensure the health of their families.

Our company was incorporated as a healthcare service contractor on May 5, 1945, when it was known as Washington Hospital Service.  On July 8, 1948, the original certificate of registration was issued by the State Insurance Commissioner and authorized the acceptance of prepayment for healthcare benefits.

Our Alaska plan has a proud history of service and support in Alaska since 1952.

On March 14, 1969, we changed our name to Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska.

MSC Becomes a New Partner in 1994

In 1994, Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska affiliated with Medical Service Corporation (MSC) in Spokane, the Blue Shield plan serving Eastern Washington.  This partnership was formed to strengthen our companies while still offering local service to the communities where we work and live.

MSC’s roots go back to November 1933, when the nonprofit Spokane Medical Service Bureau and the Medical Service Corporation were founded, enabling people to afford quality healthcare.

The original coverage offered was limited to groups of 25 or more, each earning less than $150 per month.  The premium was $1 per month and included doctor and hospital services and prescription drug benefits. Keep in mind that in 1933, doctor visits were $2, hospital charges ran $2.75 per day, and a tonsillectomy might have cost $12.50.

Name Changes to Premera Blue Cross after 1998 Merger

In June 1998, Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska merged with Medical Service Corporation (MSC) and changed its name to Premera Blue Cross.  In eastern Washington, the company known as MSC incorporated as Premera Blue Cross.

Premera Blue Cross Today

In June 2002, Premera introduced an evolutionary new approach to health plans called Dimensions.  Encompassing a new business model, a new portfolio of consumer-friendly products, simplified operations and fresh technology, Dimensions re-ignites a spirit of collaboration between our company and providers that helps doctors reduce variations from best practices that add costs without improving care.  It also simplifies administration, cuts down paperwork, enhances excellent service and ultimately empowers consumers to make informed, responsible choices about their healthcare.

Our new products go beyond conventional designs (such as HMO and PPO) and allow customers to pick and choose the features that fit them best. Products have three parts: benefits, provider networks and care facilitation.  What makes these products different is that we’ve taken these three elements and unbundled them.

With Dimensions, Premera is taking a leadership role in redefining and reinventing how our industry provides health coverage.  Our mission is to be the health plan of choice and the standard of excellence in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Also in June 2002, MSC incorporated as Premera Blue Cross, and was renamed Premera Blue Cross to better emphasize our statewide presence in Washington and reduce confusion among members, physicians and other providers.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska was renamed Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska to emphasize the plan’s connection with the Premera family of health plans.

Premera Blue Cross is here and with you meeting the healthcare coverage needs of more than 1.6 million members.

(Information updated as of 2011 from Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska’s website)

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