CHEYENNE – More than 70 years ago, a group of determined Wyoming women set out to help families who struggled to pay for hospital and medical care. Their efforts led to the formation of Wyoming’s largest health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming (BCBSWY) now celebrating its 70th year of serving Wyoming people.
“This company was started in Wyoming, from the ground up, by some concerned people who saw their neighbors trying to pay for medical care,” said BCBSWY President and CEO Rick Schum.
“We’ve been around for a long time. We’ve adapted to changes in healthcare and health insurance, and we’ve never lost sight of our purpose and our responsibilities to the people, businesses and the healthcare community of Wyoming,” he said. “We’re proud that we have maintained our Wyoming roots for 70 years and we’ll be here to help Wyoming folks for many more years to come.”
The non-profit, which serves over 100,000 members and employs more than 200 people, opened its doors in 1945, in the parlor of the historic Whipple House in downtown Cheyenne. Today the company stretches across Wyoming, with offices in Cheyenne, Casper, Cody, Gillette, Jackson, Laramie, Riverton, Rock Springs and Sheridan.
BCBSWY initially began as two non-profit organizations, the Wyoming Hospital Service and the Wyoming Medical Service, Inc., each with a mission to help members with hospital and doctor expenses. In those days, health insurance was a relatively new concept.
“What’s kept us going so long is the dedicated and talented people who have worked here over the years,” Schum continued. “We care about people of Wyoming and want them to be healthy and get the best healthcare possible. We work daily to reach that goal.”
Schum also credits Wyoming’s healthcare professionals, “We really value the relationships we have with healthcare providers. Most people don’t realize how often we work with their doctors and hospitals to keep healthcare available and more affordable,” says Schum.
In 1990, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming established its Caring Foundation to promote good health and wellbeing in Wyoming. “The Caring Foundation has been instrumental in reaching women, children and families with programs designed to enhance a healthy lifestyle and help them get the healthcare they need,” says Schum. “The programs have evolved over time, but we are happy that, through the Foundation, we are able to fill a gap for people here in Wyoming, most recently with the Boys and Girls Clubs Healthy Habits Program.”
Employees at BCBSWY are committed to giving back to their communities as well, donating and volunteering their time and talents to programs such as Adopt-A-School, Relay for Life, Cheyenne Day of Giving, Operation Back to School and Race for the Cure, just to name a few.
“Our Wyoming roots run deep. We’d like to thank our members, healthcare professionals and our employees for the past 70 years.”
Watch our Facebook page for the BCBSWY schedule of events. Learn more about BCBSWY at BCBSWY.com/company_info.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming (BCBSWY), a not-for-profit health insurer and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, provides access to high quality healthcare coverage, services and programs to help our members make the best healthcare decisions and get the best care. With 9 locations across Wyoming, we provide hometown service to residents and businesses while serving people and charitable organizations in communities around the state. Learn more about us at BCBSWY.com.