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Independence Blue Cross Celebrates 70 Years Of Service In Southeastern Pennsylvania
Date:11/11/2008

Building the health of its customers and community for decades

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- This month, Independence Blue Cross (IBC), southeastern Pennsylvania's leading health insurer, turns 70 years old. While health insurance has changed dramatically since the organization's inception in 1938, experts agree that access to affordable, quality health care remains a top priority for Americans and was a key consideration when millions cast their vote last week for president.

Known then as the Associated Hospital Service of Philadelphia, the organization opened its doors November 7, 1938, under the leadership of E. A. Van Steenwyk, who founded Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and came to Philadelphia to expand the Blue Cross brand. In rented quarters at 1429 Walnut Street, Van Steenwyk and four associates comprised the entire original staff. They sat at desks borrowed from the University of Pennsylvania and used office equipment bought with a small portion of a $30,000 loan from the Community Chest, now the United Way, to finance a new health plan. At the close of its first year, the health plan had 170,000 members.

Today, 70 years later, IBC and its affiliates insure nearly 3.4 million members nationwide and employ 8,300 people throughout the region. Today, the company offers dozens of different health insurance plans, a complete range of wellness programs, and groundbreaking initiatives to save customers money. What hasn't changed is IBC's continued commitment to innovation, focus on keeping members healthy, and deep dedication to the community. Today, IBC continues to evolve as the health care industry is further redefined by the Internet, the aging Baby Boomer population, remarkable advances in medicine, steadily rising health care costs, an increasing number of uninsured, and ever more informed consumers.

"At Independence Blue Cross there is an overwhelming passion for excellence and innovation to improve the hea
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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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