What’s Blue Cross All About?
This article was originally written by Jay Shipper
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Blue Cross was started in 1929 by Justin Ford Kimball, at Baylor University in Dallas, Texas.
It was developed to guarantee teachers 21 days of hospital care for $6 a year.
Later on the plan was enlarged to other people in the Dallas area and then throughout the country.
In 1939 the term Blue Cross was used to include other plans as well.
Blue Cross is a name used by an association of health insurance plans throughout the United States.
It was developed in 1929, by Justin Ford Kimball, at Baylor University in Dallas, Texas. The first plan guaranteed teachers The plan was extended to other employee groups in Dallas, and then nationally. The American Hospital Association (AHA) adopted the Blue Cross symbol in 1939 as the emblem for plans meeting certain standards.
So as it stands today Blue Cross is an independent membership association working on a service basis and providing protection against the costs mainly of hospital care. Benefit payments are made directly to the hospital. Benefits vary among various Blue Cross associations.
And then there is Blue Shield which, rather than covering hospital care, provides protection on a service basis against the cost of surgical and medical care in a limited geographical area.
The actual Blue Cross, which was a blue Greek Cross, was created by the artist Joseph Binder under the auspices of E A van Steenwijk who was the Company secretary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
The Blue Cross began now to be used in other parts of the country as well.
At present it is a national trade organization linking 40 health insurance companies in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico together.
Supposedly, Blue Cross operations are considered to happen as franchises in specifically designated regions. At present these services are available in every state wihin the United States and every Canadian province
Blue Cross is very prevalent in providing coverage to State as well as Federal government employees and they are also very important in the administration of Social Security.
There is a problem with health insurance in the United States.
There is a conflict between the need for the insurance company to make money versus the need of their clients to remain healthy.
This need to make money has become so uncontrolled that one third of the population in the US can not afford medical insurance and medical bills today are the major cause for bankruptcies.
This is why state and federal regulation of health insurance companies is necessary.
On the other hand medical insurance companies could hypothetically face unforeseen events such as the chicken flu where a large percentage of their clients all of a sudden face horrendous hospital bills.
Theoretically this could bankrupt the insurance company within a very short timeframe.
So to prevent this situation medical insurance companies use a variety of checks and balances to limit payments to beneficiaries.
And of course it is a well-known fact that those seeking health insurance are also those most likely to have medical problems being present or future ones.
It is also known that if the cost of healthcare to the beneficiary is very low than the use of medical benefits will be much greater than if the cost is substantial.
So to find the balance where medical services are available when needed but not abused to the extend that for every paper cut you will make a visit to the doctor proper safeguards should be in place.
So in theory, if people would exercise, would eat healthy food, would avoid addictive substances, this would lower health insurance prices because the insurance companies would pay fewer doctor bills.
However, you could then also say that too much of the insurance premiums would be paid out in executive salaries or kept as profits by the company.