About Our Anniversary

On Friday, October 9, 2009, Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) will mark the 75th Anniversary of the company offering health care coverage to New Yorkers. Today, Empire is proud to represent more than 5.4 million members across the state.


History of BlueCross BlueShield Brands

Born out of necessity in the Great Depression, the Blue Cross concept was created in 1929 by a pioneering businessman, Justin Ford Kimball. He offered a way for 1,300 school teachers in Dallas to finance 21 days of hospital care by making small monthly payments to the Baylor University Hospital.

Around the same time, the Blue Shield concept was growing out of the lumber and mining camps of the Pacific Northwest . Serious injuries and chronic illness were common among workers in these hazardous jobs. Employers who wanted to provide medical care for their workers made arrangements with physicians who were paid a monthly fee for their services.

These pioneer programs provided the basis for what would become the “modern” Blue Shield Plans. You can learn more through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

In 1934 Empire's earliest predecessor, Associated Hospital Service (AHS), was founded. In 1985, the merger of Blue Cross of Northeastern New York, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Greater New York created Empire BlueCross BlueShield.

View History Timeline

75 Tips to Staying Healthy

  • Step 01
    Eat Healthy Foods
  • Step 02
    Watch Portion Size, and Eat Regularly
  • Step 03
    Eat Breakfast
  • Step 04
    Minimize Your Intake of Artificial Sweeteners
  • Step 05
    Have Fruit for Dessert
  • Step 06
    Keep a Stash High Fiber Snacks
  • Step 07
    Drink 1 Glass of Milk a Day
  • Step 08
    Water, Water, and More Water!
  • Step 09
    Keep Children Away from Second-Hand Smoke
  • Step 10
    Do Not Prolong Bottle-Feeding of Infants
  • Step 11
    Cut Back on Morning Activities for Children Who Suffer from Allergies
  • Step 12
    Don't Spread Germs
  • Step 13
    Use Nets On Strollers
  • Step 14
    Get All Vaccines
  • Step 15
    Spend Time With Your Children
View All 75 Tips

360° Health

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