; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association | Supporting the 37 Independent, Locally Operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies | BCBS.com
Skip to content

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® companies.  The Association owns and manages the Blue Cross and Blue Shield trademarks and names in more than 170 countries and territories around the world.  The Association grants licenses to independent companies to use the trademarks and names in exclusive geographic areas.

The Association also operates several business initiatives in support of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies and represents the Blue System in national forums.  In this role as a national association, BCBSA is responsible for advancing Blue Cross and Blue Shield interests in legislative and regulatory initiatives in Washington, D.C., as well as coordinating legislative, regulatory and political strategy for the Blue System.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies

Operating and offering healthcare coverage in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the 37 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies cover 100 million Americans.  Nationwide, more than 96% of hospitals and 92% of professional providers contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies — more than any other insurer.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies offer a variety of insurance products to all segments of the population, including large employer groups, small business and individuals.  The Blues® currently serve 85% of Fortune 100 companies and 76% of Fortune 500 companies.  Moreover, the Blues have enrolled more than half of all U.S. federal workers, retirees and their families, making the Federal Employee Program the largest single health plan group in the world.

Blue Facts

  • Thirty-seven independent and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) comprise the Blue Cross and Blue Shield System, the nation’s oldest and largest family of health benefits companies.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies provide healthcare coverage for nearly 100 million people — one-third of all Americans — in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies represent the full spectrum of healthcare coverage.
  • Nationwide, more than 96% of hospitals and 91% of professional providers contract directly with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.
  • The Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies enroll in the Federal Employee Program (FEP) — the largest privately underwritten health insurance contract in the world — more than 5.3 million federal government employees, dependents and retirees. 
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have partnered with the federal government to process Medicare fee-for-service claims and payments since the program’s inception in 1965. 
  • In FY 2011, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicare contractors processed 83.2% of the more than 190 million total claims from hospitals and other provider institutions (Part A) and 69.4% of the more than 990 million claims from physicians and other healthcare practitioners (Part B).

The Power of Blue

100 million members — 1-in-3 Americans - rely on Blue Cross Blue Shield companies for access to safe, quality, and affordable healthcare. Our responsibility as the Blue System does not end there.

The relationships with our communities and the improvements we have made together demonstrate The Power of Blue - the power to make a difference. To see more how the Blues make a difference in your community, read more about The Power of Blue.

History of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield System

Instructions for Using Timeline:

  • To activate, click on the timeline and drag right or left.
  • To scroll through each decade, click on the right or left side of the dark blue area.
  • To scroll year by year, click on the right or left side of the light blue area.
  • To reveal an event detail, click on the (+) circle and to close the detail, click on the (X).