An innovative approach to help individuals cover the cost of healthcare was developed in the late 1920s as Americans struggled with mounting hospital and doctor bills during the Great Depression. An indemnity type health insurance program was developed that would shape the future of the health insurance industry.
Following this revolutionary concept, Blue Cross Hospital Plans and Blue Shield Medical Plans organized throughout the United States. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association was established to set standards of business and cooperation between the independent plans, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand was recognized as the leader in quality, service and dependability.
The ladies of the Wyoming Farm Bureau fostered the idea of Wyoming having its own Blue Cross Plan. They approached C.N. Bell, a Cheyenne insurance man and secretary of the Laramie County Farm Bureau, to find out how to get a Blue Cross operation started in Wyoming.
After traveling to Chicago to visit with the national Blue Cross Association, and against the advice that Wyoming was too small to support a separate Blue Cross Plan, Bell and his associates in the Farm Bureau set out to establish such a plan in Wyoming. In 1945, the Wyoming Hospital Service was organized as a non-profit corporation on a $5,000 non-interest bearing loan from the Wyoming Farm Bureau, the smallest amount ever used to fund a Blue Plan.
As the founders of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming understood, the state is in a unique position with its large geographical area and small population, and its healthcare environment is no exception. With a state population of just over 580,000, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming has developed benefit plans over the years to meet the needs of every individual and employer group in Wyoming. The following timeline highlights some significant events in our company's history.
Wyoming Hospital Service, a non-profit organization providing a method of hospital prepayment, is organized by the Women's Committee of the Wyoming Farm Bureau.
The first Wyoming Hospital Service subscription is sold in the fall of 1945 to William Alexander.
Arthur Abbey from the Colorado Blue Cross Plan is hired by the Wyoming Hospital Service as the Executive Director and first employee occupying a small, one-room office space in a private residence at 300 W. 17th Street in Cheyenne.
Wyoming Hospital Service enrollment is 6,222.
The Blue Cross Commission approves the Wyoming Hospital Service as a Blue Cross Plan in Wyoming.
Sponsored by the Wyoming Medical Society, the Wyoming Medical Service, Inc, a Blue Shield Plan, is organized in Wyoming and operates on a non-profit basis to provide coverage for physician services.
Tremendous growth requires the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans to relocate their headquarters to the upper story of the Read Building located at Thomes and 19th Street.
Wyoming Blue Shield Plan enrollment is 9,417.
First-time Wyoming Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans offer non-group coverage to individuals in Laramie, Goshen, Platte and Albany counties with monthly membership fees of $3.65 per single or $7.40 per family.
Wyoming Blue Cross Plan enrollment is 61,263.
Wyoming Blue Shield Plan enrollment is 49,520.
Benefits paid are in excess of $1.25 million.
Open house is held for the new 7,000 square foot building located at 4020 House Avenue in Cheyenne.
Staff includes 23 employees in Cheyenne and six employees in field offices throughout Wyoming.
Wyoming Blue Cross Plan is second in the nation (out of 83 Blue Cross Plans) in the percentage of enrollment obtained during the second quarter of 1954.
Wyoming Blue Shield Plan is eighth in the nation in the percentage of enrollment obtained during the first six months of 1954.
Wyoming Blue Cross Plan enrollment is 65,772, 22.6% of Wyoming's total population.
Wyoming Blue Shield Plan enrollment is more than 55,000, nearly 20% of Wyoming's total population.
2,000 claims are processed monthly.
Wyoming Blue Cross Plan recognizes its first full decade of serving the residents of Wyoming.
Wyoming Blue Cross Plan enrollment is 72,969.
Wyoming Blue Shield Plan enrollment is 64,785.
$1.8 million is paid in benefits to Wyoming doctors and hospitals.
Wyoming Blue Cross single plan rates range from $6.30 to $12.30 per quarter.
Wyoming Blue Cross family plan rates range from $12.75 to $24.60 per quarter.
The headquarters building is remodeled and a second floor is constructed to accommodate the growing healthcare plan's services.
Wyoming Hospital Service and Wyoming Medical Service become Medicare Part A intermediaries.
Wyoming Blue Cross Plan enrollment is 90,236 with $9.8 million paid in benefits.
Wyoming Blue Shield Plan enrollment is 89,033 with $2 million paid in benefits.
The last four months of 1971 were set aside to formally mark 25 full years of serving the residents of Wyoming.
The State of Wyoming group health coverage contract is awarded to Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Wyoming Blue Cross Plan enrollment is 160,592 with $22.8 million paid in benefits.
Wyoming Blue Shield Plan enrollment is 159,653 with $6.7 million paid in benefits.
Ground breaking ceremony is held for new headquarters building, located at 4000 House Avenue, next to the existing Blue Cross and Blue Shield building.
Staff in Cheyenne consists of 145 employees.
Wyoming Blue Shield Plan implements rate increase from $6 to $8.80 per month to offset rising hospital and doctors costs.
Wyoming Blue Cross Plan implements a 10-14% rate increase to offset rising healthcare costs.
Wyoming Hospital Service and Wyoming Medical Service merge into a single corporation, adopting the name Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming.
New $1.5 million, 42,500 square foot headquarters building for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming is completed in November and purchased outright with no financing.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming announces a new vision care program that pays a fee for an eye exam and provides lenses and frames for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming group members.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming implements its first automated membership and claims processing system.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming Medicare supplement rates are $11.24 per month.
361,069 claims are paid totaling $36,342,665.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming receives a national award for the largest percentage gain in Blue Cross contracts from July 1, 1979 to March 31, 1980.
Chuck E. Chapman becomes the President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming implements an inpatient precertification program.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming establishes the state's first health maintenance organization product, HMO Wyoming.
In response to emerging self-insurance concepts and Third Party Administrator competition, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming introduces the National Claims Administrative Services (NCAS) - Mountain Plains, operational through 2000.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming implements new claims processing system, partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming becomes a Medicare Part B subcontractor through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.
The State of Wyoming awards Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming the administrative contract for the Wyoming Health Insurance Pool.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming forms the Caring Foundation of Wyoming, Inc., a nonprofit organization offering free primary and preventive care for needy children.
The first 18 children are enrolled in the Caring Program for Children, the first project established as part of the Caring Foundation of Wyoming, Inc.
BlueCard® is made available to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming members providing access to healthcare facilities and services in Wyoming, across the U.S. and in more than 200 countries.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming partners with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. to sponsor Wyoming's Race for the Cure and other breast health related programs.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming becomes the Local Presenting Sponsor for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®.
Tim J. Crilly becomes the President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming.
National Enrollment in Blue Plans reaches 82.6 million.
The Caring for Women Program, the second project established as part of the Caring Foundation of Wyoming, Inc., is introduced to provide screening mammograms for needy women.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming implements federal HIPAA privacy provisions on April 14, 2003.
The Caring for Families Program, the third project established as part of the Caring Foundation of Wyoming, Inc., is introduced to Wyoming businesses to address domestic violence.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming is awarded the state of Wyoming Kid Care CHIP contract providing a low-cost private health insurance plan to eligible Wyoming children.
Employee Plan Services (EPS) is launched to provide innovative option packages to complement healthcare coverage.
A new fully-insured small group insurance plan - BlueChoice Business- is introduced.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming launches Walking Works, a fitness program for individuals, families and employer groups.
A new electronic claims system - PCACE - is introduced.
To meet consumer demand for more cost effective health insurance plans, Health Savings Accounts are introduced to the market.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming launches its new website giving members the convenience of reviewing claims information online.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming enrollment exceeds 100,000.
MedicareBlueSM Solutions is introduced by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming to bring prescription drug plans to Wyoming seniors.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology is implemented to automate data and speed up claims processing.
The Caring Foundation shifts its focus to support the following ongoing programs through the Foundation’s charitable giving:
- The Caring for Women Program
- The Health Professionals Scholarship Fund
- Wyoming Relay for Life Corporate Sponsorship
- Wyoming Race for the Cure
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming begins implementing the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 which puts in place the specifications of federal healthcare reform.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming introduces our members and provider community to the Good Health Club Outrun Obesity Program, a prevention plan designed to address pediatric obesity and diabetes.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming introduces two new wellness programs, MyHealthCenter and Health Club Credit, to eligible groups and their employees.
Tim J. Crilly, President and CEO, retires after 44 years with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming.
Rick Schum becomes the President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming is one of two Wyoming insurance carriers certified to offer coverage through the new Federally Facilitated Marketplace. The new BlueSelect products, that meet stringent guidelines of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, become available to consumers.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming is recognized by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employees Program (FEP) with the prestigious Excellence Blue Vase award for outstanding performance in 2013.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming marks 70 years since a small group of caring, persistent women from the Wyoming Farm Bureau helped us put down roots in 1945.