Health Care Service Corporation

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Health Care Service Corporation
Type Mutual Legal Reserve Company
Industry Managed health care
Headquarters Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower
Chicago, Illinois, US
Key people Patricia Hemingway Hall, Chairman and CEO
Products Health plans; group, disability, life insurance
Employees nearly 20,000

Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and the largest customer-owned health insurance company in the United States. HCSC offers a wide variety of health and life insurance products and related services, through its operating divisions and subsidiaries; including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Dearborn National. The company employs nearly 20,000 people and serves nearly 14 million members.


In 1936, a group of Chicago civic leaders, hospital officials and physicians pooled their own resources and launched what was initially called the Chicago Plan for Hospital Care. The company's first health insurance policy became effective on January 21, 1937.

The company, incorporated as Hospital Service Corporation, enrolled 36,000 members in the first six months of operations. The company adopted the Blue Cross symbol in 1939 and the Blue Shield symbol in 1947.

The Blue Cross Plan for hospital services and the Blue Shield Plan for physician services operated separately until 1975 when they were merged as Health Care Service Corporation. By 1982, all the smaller Blue Cross plans in Illinois were also merged with the Chicago-based plan, and the company operated as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. Other Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans joined HCSC: Texas in 1998; New Mexico in 2001; Oklahoma in 2005; and Montana in 2013.

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