History

1933 Concern about the dire state of health care led George Watts Hill, a prominent business man, and Dr. W.C. Davison, dean of Duke University School of Medicine, to found the Hospital Care Association in Durham. The new organization, one of the parent organizations of today’s BCBSNC, offered prepaid hospital care to families for as little as 2 cents a day.

Thanks to the inclusion of maternity benefits, the nation’s first “Blue Cross baby,” Ann Woodard, was born in December 1933 at Durham’s Watts Hospital to parents enrolled in the new Hospital Care Association.
1934 Graham David of the Duke Endowment and Dr. I.H. Manning, former dean of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine founded the Hospital Saving Association in Chapel Hill. This rival hospital prepayment plan was also a parent organization to BCBSNC.
1938 Both the Hospital Saving Association and the Hospital Care Association are approved to use the Blue Cross symbol.
1947 The Hospital Saving Association receives approval to act as an official Blue Shield Plan and was among the first 17 Plans authorized to use the Blue Shield emblem.
1968 After 35 years of competition, the two associations consolidate to become North Carolina Blue Cross and Blue Shield (NCBCBS). John Alexander McMahon is named the first president of NCBCBS and there was an initial membership of more than 1.2 million customers making it among the largest Blue Plans in the nation.
1973 The new “Service Center” building is dedicated as Plan headquarters in Chapel Hill. Its innovative architectural design drew widespread interest, and tours were conducted for the public.

That same year, NCBCBS changes its name to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) to appeal to the national accounts and promote a united national Blue identity. Local Blue Plans continue to operate as independent licensees of the national BCBSA.
1982 Unprecedented rises in health care costs lead to the introduction of “managed care” as a new model of delivering and financing health care. BCBSNC introduces its first managed care product, a health maintenance organization (HMO) called the Personal Care Plan.
1986 The Tax Reform Act of 1986 ends the federal tax exemption that Blue Plans enjoyed for decades. The 1986 Act makes BCBSNC, and all other Blue Plans, subject to federal income tax under the Internal Revenue Code.
1996 BCBSNC introduces Blue Advantage, an innovation in health insurance for individuals that would eventually dominate this segment of the North Carolina market.
2000 The BCBSNC Foundation is created as a separate charitable entity aimed at improving the health and well-being of North Carolinians through grants and signature programs.
2004 BCBSNC introduces Healthy Lifestyle Choices to help members achieve healthy weight. As part of the program, BCBSNC becomes the first health insurer in the nation to cover physician visits related to obesity.
2011 The issue of rising medical costs is complex and affects every one of us. That’s why BCBSNC began the Let’s Talk Cost project. This effort helps North Carolinians gain a better understanding of the everyday factors that drive up medical costs, and it shares how BCBSNC is finding ways to rein in costs through collaboration.
2013 Thanks to hard work and collaboration across the company, BCBSNC is prepared and ready to sell products and serve its current and potential customers when the most visible milestones of the federal government’s Affordable Care Act launched in the form of Open Enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace in October.