Our history

For more than 80 years, Rhode Islanders have counted on Blue Cross as we pursue our mission to improve members’ health and peace of mind by facilitating their access to affordable, high-quality healthcare.

1939

We begin operations as the Hospital Service Corporation of Rhode Island.

1942

Member enrollment reaches 100,000.

1945

Enrollment exceeds 350,000, accounting for hospital coverage of more than 50% of Rhode Island’s population.

1949

We organize the Rhode Island Medical Society Physicians Service.

1950

We begin to provide voluntary medical insurance coverage to Rhode Islanders.

1962

The Hospital Service Corporation of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Medical Society Physicians Service jointly offer major medical for the first time, providing coverage for office visits and prescription drugs.

1973

The Hospital Service Corporation of Rhode Island changes its name to Blue Cross of Rhode Island.

1974

The Rhode Island Medical Society Physician Service changes its name to Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

1982

Blue Cross of Rhode Island and Blue Shield of Rhode Island merge to become Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

2001

We establish the BlueAngel Community Outreach Program and BlueAngel Community Health Grants to help improve the quality of lives of Rhode Islanders. As a company, we help more than 125 nonprofit organizations annually through volunteerism, in-kind support, and direct financial assistance.

2004

James E. Purcell becomes president and chief executive officer. He receives the Providence Business News’ Business Leadership Award the following year.

2005

Concentrating on continual efforts to build our partnership with the Rhode Island community, Blue Cross holds our first annual community meeting, where we announce plans to organize a program to improve health literacy among Rhode Islanders.

2007

We launch The Health & Wellness Institute, a health management solutions subsidiary focused on improving quality of life at three levels: individual, community, and work site.

2009

Blue Cross sets out to change the healthcare delivery system in Rhode Island, with the ultimate goal of better care, more moderate costs, and, most important, improved health for our members. To accomplish this, we undertake a sweeping transformation in the way we operate our business.

2010

We sign agreements with more than 25% of primary care providers (PCPs) in the state to establish patient-centered medical homes, which provide a team-based approach to care. These agreements will ultimately impact more than 100,000 members.

2011

Jim Purcell retires. Under his leadership, Blue Cross initiated transformative changes to improve healthcare quality, access, and affordability, including increasing reimbursements to primary care providers, supporting electronic medical records and patient-centered medical homes, and championing equal coverage for mental health.

Peter Andruszkiewicz becomes president and CEO. His 30 years of health insurance experience make him uniquely qualified to play a leading role in shaping the future of Rhode Island as the state implements healthcare reform.

2012

Blue across RI launches as our annual day of service, when employees spend the day cleaning, painting, and helping community organizations all around Rhode Island.

2016

Peter Andruszkiewicz retires. During his tenure, Andruszkiewicz pushed BCBSRI to accelerate its partnerships with providers and align reimbursement with improved quality of care and outcomes as well as better integrate care delivery through primary care-centered systems of care. He also played an instrumental role in bringing financial stability back to the company and strengthened the company’s commitment to the community.

Kim Keck becomes president and CEO, bringing more than 25 years of health insurance experience to her role. She is leading the company’s ongoing efforts to drive a simplified customer experience and to advance coordinated, patient-centered, and affordable healthcare for Rhode Islanders.

2017

Blue Cross opens our third Your Blue Store location. The store in East Providence joins existing stores in Warwick and Lincoln. It continues our reach into the communities we serve, where members can take classes and businesses can use our community rooms.

2018

BCBSRI changes our vision statement to reflect our focus on helping the entire state: “Passionately leading a state of health and well-being across Rhode Island."

2019

BCBSRI opens our fourth Your Blue Store location in Cranston. The Cranston store joins existing stores in Warwick, Lincoln, and East Providence.

We unveil Your Blue Bus, our mobile retail store, to help take our retail presence “on the road" and into our community.

In partnership with the Brown University School of Public Health, BCBSRI creates the RI Life Index, a survey of Rhode Islanders that aims to better understand ways that life factors and social determinants are perceived to impact their health outcomes and overall well-being.

2020

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, BCBSRI’s coordinated response helped to ensure the health, safety, and peace of mind of our members and customers. We provided $25 million in premium relief to members and customers; collected and shared relevant data; waived cost sharing for telehealth visits and for testing, visits, and care related to COVID-19; and even delivered groceries to our most vulnerable Medicare members.

2021

Martha L. Wofford is named BCBSRI’s eighth president and CEO, and the second woman to hold the role. Martha brings decades of experience in the areas of value-based care programs with commercial payers and health systems.

We celebrate the tenth annual Blue across Rhode Island day of service. The signature BCBSRI event since 2012, in the last 10 years we’ve helped dozens of local nonprofit agencies and the communities they serve, to the tune of an incredible 32,000 hours of service by our associates.

For the first time, BCBSRI earns the highest Star rating possible – five out of five – from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for our 2022 Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans. This distinction recognizes that our Medicare plans stand out for exceptional quality, plan performance, and member experience. We’re also the only Rhode Island health insurer to receive five-out-of-five Stars for all its 2022 Medicare Advantage plans.

BCBSRI is ranked #1 in member satisfaction among commercial health plans in the Northeast region by global marketing research firm J.D. Power. Our highest scores are in the categories of Coverage and Benefits, Provider Choice, and Information and Communications.

We launch a new “fold-out" store, a mobile, movable retail location that is the latest in our growing retail presence across Rhode Island.

2022

BCBSRI launches Blue RI for Duals, a new product for the duals (Medicare and Medicaid eligible) market, in time for the Medicare annual election period (AEP). This launch is the latest expression of meeting our members where they are and offering plans that are responsive to our community.
 

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