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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.

Blue Cross began as the Associated Hospital Service Corporation of Massachusetts, founded by a group of community-minded business leaders in 1937. Designed to spread the cost of hospital treatment among a large group of employed persons, the nonprofit organization obtained a charter in March and opened its doors in September. Upon its opening, the Corporation was the 26th plan of its kind in the United States, differing from others in its offering of statewide coverage. In 1939, the name Blue Cross was officially adopted by the American Hospital Association as the national symbol of the Hospital Service movement.

Blue Shield of Massachusetts was established in 1941, as a result of physician interest in the prepayment concept of financing health care. Unique in that it paid for covered services only with participating physicians, the Blue Shield Plan quickly produced widespread physician participation.

Over the years, "Blue Cross" and "Blue Shield of Massachusetts" continued to grow and adapt to the needs of consumers, offering ever-increasing comprehensive coverage. In 1988, the two separate Blues organizations merged to become Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc., and continued as part of a national network of affiliated plans, providing its members with access to the widest selection of the most respected physicians and best hospitals in the country.

In 1992, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts launched its premier product, HMO Blue, which offers a statewide managed care network of doctors to residents of Massachusetts. Offered as a transition from traditional health insurance to managed care, this new product reflected a change that was in line with the interest of the emerging market.

As a result of its solid position in the marketplace in 2001, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts had the exceptional opportunity to reconnect to its original charter and to endow its own foundation, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, to expand access to high-quality health care to the underserved residents of Massachusetts.

Today, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts retains its independent, not-for-profit status as a multifaceted health care company providing a wide range of health care programs and educational services. Members receive health care coverage through a range of employer-sponsored group plans and non-group and senior citizen programs.

To enhance our ability to provide affordable, quality health care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts transferred its insured HMO line of business to a separate, not-for-profit subsidiary January 1 2005. This change had no impact on the benefits and services that we provide to our members.

The subsidiary, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts HMO Blue, Inc. offers the existing insured HMO plans: HMO Blue ® (including non-group plans), HMO Blue New England, Blue Choice ® (in-network), Blue Choice New England (in-network), Access Blue and Managed Blue for Seniors.

Today, headquartered in Boston, we provide coverage to 2.9 million members. Consistently recognized for standards of service that are among the highest in the nation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is the choice for health care consumers seeking reliable and high quality health care coverage. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Just the Facts