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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and a not-for-profit health insurance provider with more than one million members. Founded in 1938, Blue KC offers a wide variety of healthcare, dental, life insurance and Medicare coverage. Centered in Kansas City, Blue KC serves 32 counties in northwest Missouri as well as Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.
|Headquarters||Kansas City, MO|
Originally named Blue Cross of Kansas City, the health insurance provider started with seven network hospitals and two employees. In 1938, Blue Cross of Kansas City signed its first group, Wolferman's Bakery and one of its employees, Grace “Betty” Jackson, became its first member. By the end of 1938, Blue Cross of Kansas City grew to 10 network hospitals, eight employees and nearly 14,000 members.
Kansas City Blue Shield was formed in 1943 to provide members with a prepayment plan for physician services. Kansas City Blue Shield extended benefits to individuals not covered by an employer, known as individual member enrollment, in 1950. The company was the first Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan in the country to provide this new service.
In 1982, the Kansas City Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans merged, creating Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.
In July 2009, Blue KC was the first company in the country to earn the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Wellness & Health Promotion (WHP) Accreditation. The WHP program assesses key areas of health promotion, including how wellness programs are implemented in the workplace, how services like coaching are provided to help participants develop skills to make healthy choices, and how individual health information is properly safeguarded.
In 2013, Blue KC opened two innovative service centers focused on education and customer service called Live Blue.
Blue KC was ranked one of the "Best Companies to Work For" by Ingram's Magazine in 2009, 2012 and 2015. The Kansas City Business Journal also named Blue KC one of the 2017 Healthiest Employers.
Subsidiaries and Affiliates
In addition to healthcare benefits, Blue KC offers specialized services and managed care expertise through its affiliates and subsidiaries.
- Cobalt Ventures, LLC – a holding company for Blue KC's subsidiaries
- New Directions Behavioral Health (NDBH) – a subsidiary that offers managed behavior healthcare, employee assistance, organizational consulting, and health coaching
- Preferred Health Professionals (PHP) – a subsidiary that offers coverage in Kansas and Missouri with multiple PPO network products
- Cobalt MedPlans – a domestic provider of health insurance claims processing serving HMO, Medicaid, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicare Advantage and commercial health plans
- CompAlliance – a subsidiary that offers workers’ compensation services to regional employers and insurers
- MEDVAL – a fully integrated, single-source solution for the Medicare Set-Aside process
- "Blue KC History". Archived from the original on 2013-04-17.
- "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Becomes Nation's First Organization to Receive NCQA Accreditation for Wellness & Health Promotion" (Press release). NCQA. July 23, 2009. Archived from the original on July 6, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- "Blue Cross of KC opens retail location in Zona Rosa". Kansas City Business Journal. June 20, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- "Healthiest Employers: Honoree – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City". Kansas City Business Journal. February 10, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.