Happy 75th to BCBSNE!

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is celebrating its 75th year of serving the health care needs of Nebraskans!

On January 12, 1939, the Associated Hospital Service of Nebraska (later known as Blue Cross) was incorporated. Five years later, six physicians organized the Nebraska Surgical Plan (which later became Blue Shield). Then in 1974, the two organizations merged to form Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska.

In 1939, prepaid hospital and physician coverage was still a new, revolutionary idea for the residents of Nebraska. That year, a handful of business leaders, physicians and hospital administrators established the groundwork for what would become Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. In those days, our claim payments were carefully recorded in a handwritten ledger book; the single membership premium was 75 cents a month.

Today, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska bears little resemblance to that fledgling company. We provide employer and family health insurance or benefits administration to more than 700,000 people. We have developed new methods to provide that coverage in the most cost-effective manner possible.

Since our founding 75 years ago, we have been a non-profit company. Today, we are probably Nebraska’s largest tax-paying non-profit entity. We are organized as a community benefit mutual insurance corporation, which means we are owned by our cardholders--people who have policies with us. Anything we make over the cost of paying claims and administration – usually no more than 1 or 2 cents for every dollar of premium we receive -- goes into our reserve fund and is ultimately redistributed to our members in benefits and services.

For 75 years, we have remained at the forefront of the health care industry. And, we are poised to meet the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. From our company’s infancy in the First National Bank Building, to the Kilpatrick Building, to the 72nd and Mercy Road campus, to our current Blue Cross Centre in Aksarben Village, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to serve the needs of Nebraskans.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska was created by a small group of individuals deeply concerned about the health care of fellow Nebraskans. Today, that caring team has grown to 1,100 individuals, working together to be the undisputed leader in every market we serve.

While we are extremely proud of our heritage, we are also energized by our future – truly, the best is yet to come.

Steve Martin
President and Chief Executive Officer



The percentage of the bill you pay after your deductible has been met.


A fixed amount you pay when you get a covered health service.

Tiered benefit plan

A health care plan featuring multiple levels of benefits based on the network status of a particular provider. 


The annual amount you pay for covered health services before your insurance begins to pay.

emergency care services

Any covered services received in a hospital emergency room setting.


Includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy

in-network provider

A provider contracted by your insurance company to accept an agreed upon payment for covered services. 

OUT-OF-network provider

A term for providers that aren’t contracting with your insurance company. (Your out-of-pocket costs will tend to be more expensive if you go to an out-of-network provider.)


Your expenses for medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance, including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments.


If you can afford health insurance, but choose not to buy it, you must have a health coverage exemption or pay a tax penalty on your federal income tax return.


The amount you pay to your health insurance company each month. 

Preventive services

Health care services that focus on the prevention of disease and health maintenance.


Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured or have surgery. This includes physical, occupational and speech therapy.

special enrollment period

The time after the Open Enrollment Period when you can still purchase health insurance only if you have a qualifying life event (losing other health coverage, having a baby, getting married, moving).


A physician who has a majority of his or her practice in fields other than internal or general medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics or family practice.