Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBSAK) is an independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association licensee. It is the largest insurer in Arkansas and serves about one-third of the state’s health insurance market. BCBSAK provides health insurance plans to individuals as well as groups and families. In addition to health insurance, the company also offers comprehensive dental coverage.
The Blue Cross brand originated in 1929 at Baylor University with a plan offering teachers three weeks of hospital care for $6 per year. As the company grew, it began offering coverage to other employee groups in Dallas and later expanded to national coverage. The Blue Shield brand was developed at the start of last century with lumber and mining employers in the Pacific Northwest paying a monthly fee to a designated group of physicians.Blue Shield and the Blue Cross Associationmerged in 1982 to become the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
BCBSAK was founded in 1948 and has grown through the decades to become the largest health insurer in the state. It currently employs over 2500 and has a membership of over 400,000, which is roughly one-third of the state’s fully insured residents. BCBSAK’s network constitutes roughly 8000 doctors, specialists, and other healthcare providers, as well as 115 hospitals.
The company strives to maintain a strong and positive community presence and has garnered many awards and recognitions in recent years including 2004 Arkansas Business of the Year and the 2006 Excellent Service Profile and Plan Excellence Award.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield owns two subsidiaries, which operate more than a dozen affiliates. The company also runs a charitable foundation. BCBSAK’s mission is to give individuals, their families, as well as organizations, the highest quality healthcare, life insurance, and health financial products services for the best value. The company strives to be the leading healthcare insurance solutions, information, and services provider, thus improving the overall health of the communities they serve.