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About Us

Our History


Year
Event(s)
1934 Group Hospitalization, Inc. is formed by a hospital association in Washington.
1937 In Maryland, a group of 15 hospitals in Baltimore agree to participate in Associated Hospital Service of Baltimore and begin using the Blue Cross service mark.
1942 Group Hospitalization, Inc., is sanctioned to use the Blue Cross service mark.
1947 Associated Hospital Service of Baltimore changes its name to Maryland Hospital Service in recognition of its statewide presence to provide health services to more than 500,000 members.
1948 A physicians group called Medical Service of the District of Columbia is founded. Two years later, the Maryland Medical Service, Inc. is incorporated and licensed to use the Blue Shield name.
1951 Group Hospitalization, Inc. becomes a fully participating member of the Blue Cross system. The following year, Medical Service of the District of Columbia is authorized to use the Blue Shield service mark.
1957 Maryland Hospital Services, Inc. enrollment reaches one million members.
1959 "Over 65" program introduced to provide limited coverage to persons age 65 and over not previously insured.
1960 Group Hospitalization, Inc. becomes the operations center for administering and maintaining medical records for newly created Federal Employee Program.
1963 Maryland Blues Plans introduce a "Senior Citizen" health care plan. Three years later, the Washington Blues Plans begin offering complementary Medicare coverage called Blue Cross 65 and Blue Shield 65.
1969 Maryland Hospital Service, Inc. (Blue Cross) and Maryland Medical Service (Blue Shield) change their names to Maryland Blue Cross and Maryland Blue Shield, respectively.
1969 Group Hospitalization (Blue Cross) and Medical Services (Blue Shield) moved to new location at 550 12th Street SW. In 1971, the Maryland Blues consolidated several offices by moving them to a central location at 700 E. Joppa Road in Towson.
1972 Maryland Blue Cross introduced a health maintenance program and offers the services of pre-paid group practice health plans as an alternative to traditional health care coverage.
1980 FreeState Health Plan created by the Maryland Plan to contract with independent health care organizations to provide members services. Two years later, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland acquires Columbia Medical Plan, the state's largest and most successful HMO.
1984 CapitalCare, Inc. is created by the Washington Area Plan as an independent practice HMO. Blue Cross of Maryland, Inc. and Blue Shield of Maryland, Inc. form one company -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland, Inc. (BCBSMD)
1985 Group Hospitalization, Inc. and Medical Services of the District of Columbia merged under the new name Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. (GHMSI). The company adopts a new trade name: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of the National Capital Area (BCBSNCA).
1987 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of the National Capital Area introduces its first Preferred Provider Network, an option between traditional indemnity coverage and HMO-based plans.
1989 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland moves corporate offices to Owings Mills.
1991 Maryland Plan acquires CareFirst Health Plan and Potomac Health Plan.
1992 Maryland Plan acquires Delmarva Health Plan, an Eastern Shore HMO. In Washington, BCBSMD becomes the subject of U.S. Senate examining Blues Plans throughout the U.S. with financial problems. The inquiry reveals patterns of executive mismanagement leading to the resignation of several senior executives.
1993 William L. Jews is selected as new President and Chief Executive Officer.
1996 Washington Area Plan, after major reorganization to improve efficiency, pushes surplus up 150 percent in three years, ranks first in performance among all Blues Plans in second quarter and begins to explore joint ventures with Maryland Plan.
1997 Maryland and Washington Blues announce intention to combine operations under a new holding company, CareFirst, Inc.
1998 Business combination gains regulatory approval, in January two companies go forward as one under new name CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.
1999 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield ends first year of combined operations with $3.9 billion in revenues, $75.7 million in net income, and reserves of $472 million. Total enrollment is approximately 2.5 million, reflecting a net increase during 1998 of 142,000 members.
2000 In March 2000, CareFirst enters an affiliation with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, adding more than 200,000 new members and expanding the company's regional service area throughout the mid-Atlantic area. Membership surpasses three million. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield crosses the threshold of the new millennium at full stride.
2001 CareFirst, in dramatic move, announces intention to convert to for-profit status and be acquired by WellPoint Health Networks of Thousand Oaks, CA, one of the nation's largest health care companies.
2002 BCBSD in a cooperative effort with CareFirst, launches Personal Comp, a health benefits plan for individuals.
2003 The Maryland Insurance Commissioner rejects the CareFirst-WellPoint plan for conversion to for-profit and subsequent merger. The Maryland General Assembly subsequently enacts "reform" to reaffirm CareFirst's non-profit status and bar for five years any attempt to become a for-profit company. Headquarters for CareFirst operations in the Washington, D.C. area move to Union Plaza. Company revenue tops $7 billion.
2004 CareFirst Board of Directors reconstitutes in accordance with Maryland General Assembly mandate.  Membership growth pushes total enrollment to 3.3 million. Company introduces CareEssentials, an innovative disease and care management strategy integrating  prevention, utilization, disease management and case management.  Revised mission statement defines broader role in community health care.
2005 Unveils CareFirst Commitment, a $92 million initiative focused on increasing affordability, access to care, patient quality and safety and diversity.
2006 In September 2006, CareFirst complies with Delaware Insurance Commissioner Denn's order to end its six-year affiliation with BCBSD.
2006 November 2, CareFirst announces departure of CEO, William L. Jews.
2006 November 2, David D. Wolf named interim President and CEO.
2007 September 28, Chester "Chet" Burrell named CareFirst President and CEO.
2008 February 15, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley lauds CareFirst for committing $4 million to close senior prescription drug doughnut hole.
2010 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield launches HealthyBlue product, an innovative, new portfolio of health plans, designed to foster and reward healthy lifestyles and promote collaboration between patients and their primary care physicians.
2010 September 20, CareFirst receives regulatory approval from the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) to launch its Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program, becoming the first insurer in Maryland to gain approval for a “single payer” medical home initiative.
2011 More than 3,000 providers now participating in innovative Patient-Centered Medical Home, making the program the largest of its type in the nation.
2011 CareFirst contributed $51 million to community programs as part of the CareFirst Commitment initiative designed to increase accessibility, affordability and quality of health care throughout the service region.
2012 CareFirst launches its Safety Net Health Center Initiative, giving more than $8.5 million in grants to 12 safety net health centers in MD, D.C. and VA, to implement medical home and care coordination programs.
2012 CareFirst announced that nearly 60 percent of eligible primary care physicians and nurse practitioners earned increased reimbursements for their 2011 performance in CareFirst's PCMH program.
2012 CareFirst breaks record for Greater Baltimore Heart Walk, raising over $500,000 for AHA regional events.
2012 CareFirst contributed more than $57 million to fund community health programs.
2012 CareFirst received a $24 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) designed to serve 25,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland.
2013 CareFirst appoints new board chairs, including Linda Cropp of CFI board and Joseph Hall of CFMI.