Premera Blue Cross holds to its mission to provide healthcare peace of mind to their members as well as a vision to be a standard bearer for excellence and the health plan of choice in their region. Premera’s overarching goal is to maintain a high standard of customer service excellence, while achieving growth and profitability.
The company sticks to its core values: excellence in service, holding customers in the highest regard, taking the initiative as leaders in their community, doing the right thing, and working together without boundaries to achieve a common goal.
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.
Premera was formed in 1945 when it was widely known as Washington Hospital Service and in 1948 the Washington State Insurance Commissioner authorized the company to accept prepayment of healthcare benefits. In 1952, the company formed its Alaska plan and in 1969, the company changed its official name to Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska.
Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska partnered with Spokane’s Medical Service Corporation (MSC) in 1994 in order to strengthen their products and services to the local communities. MSC dates back to 1993 when it formed as the not-for-profit Spokane Medical Service Bureau and Medical Service Corporation, allowing residents access to affordable healthcare. In 1998 Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska joined forces with MSC to for Premera Blue Cross
Headquartered in Mountlake Terrace, Washington and maintaining offices in Seattle, Spokane, and Anchorage, Premera currently serves more than 1.5 million throughout Washington and Alaska and employs about 2800 between the two states.
All told, the company encompasses a network of about 27,000 healthcare professionals. In 2009, the company saw revenues of $2.9-billion. Premera along with its affiliates, employs almost 3000, maintain a provider network of 35,000, and saw revenues in 2009 of $3.1-billion.