Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (EMBCBS) provides health insurance coverage to over 5-million members of which 38,000 are Empire Health Insurance employees. Empire Health Insurance maintains eight offices throughout New York State and a provider network spanning twenty-eight New York Counties, as well as ten bordering counties in New Jersey and Connecticut. Empire’s members have access to over 84,000 providers in its PPO/EPO network and 5000 in its HMO/Direct POS network.
First established in 1934, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield began as New York City-based Associated Hospital Service (AHS). Later in 1944, United Medical Service, another of Empire’s forerunners was founded. In 1974, AHS and UMS merged to form Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Greater New York. Then, in 1985, BCBS of Greater New York and BCBS of Northeastern New York merged to form Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.
In 1996, Empire HealthChoice and Empire HealthChoice Assurance, two for-profit subsidiaries were formed and plans unveiled to restructure into a single for-profit company. Empire filed to restructure to form a for-profit entityin 1999 and in 2002 completed the conversion. As of 2009, Empire had added life insurance to its portfolio of product offerings making it a full-service benefits provider.
Offering a wide selection of healthcare insurance plans, Empire Health Insurance offers traditional coverage, as well as a progressive array of health and wellness programs. With Empire Health Insurance, members can feel secure knowing that they have access to participating BlueCard providers across the United States and around the world.