In 2024, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) celebrates 85 years of being a champion for the health and well-being of our members and the communities we serve. We’ve grown alongside Nebraska, adapting to changing needs to meet our members’ expectations.  

From tracking and processing member claims in a handwritten book to breaking records with the United Way of the Midlands, we’re proud of the growth we’ve seen and can’t wait for the next 85 years.  

Take a journey through some of our most defining moments. 

1939: A group of Omaha hospital administrators, physicians and business leaders meet to incorporate the Associated Hospital Service of Nebraska.  

1943: The Nebraska Plan receives full approval from the American Hospital Association and the right to use the Blue Cross symbol. 

1944: Six physicians organize the Nebraska Surgical Plan (later to become Blue Shield of Nebraska). 

1948: Membership passes 100,000 mark. The organization moved from the First National Bank Building to office space on the fifth floor of the Kilpatrick Building. 

1960: Nebraska Blue Cross joins the National Blue Cross Association. 

1967: Nebraska Blue Cross experiences its greatest increase in history, serving more than 250,000 people in Nebraska and representing 100% of the eligible hospitals in the state. Also, the Depositor Program is introduced, enabling people not part of an employer group plan to enjoy the security of Blue Cross coverage. 

1968: Nebraska Blue Cross and Nebraska Blue Shield move into new Omaha building at 72nd Street and Mercy Road. 

1975: Nebraska Blue Cross and Nebraska Blue Shield boards merge to form a single corporation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. Also in this year, BCBSNE raised $14,454 for its annual United Way of the Midlands fundraising campaign.  

1976: BCBSNE celebrated its 500,000th member on March 2, 1976.  

2011: BCBSNE moves to its new leased facility in the Aksarben Village development. 

2016: The Wellness Council of America awards BCBSNE its prestigious Platinum Well Workplace honor for the fourth consecutive time. The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce inducts CEO Steve Martin into the Business Hall of Fame for his contributions to the region’s growth and welfare. 

2023: Jeff Russell is named the new president and CEO. An additional highlight of the year – Team Blue packed a record-breaking 1,500 hygiene kits for OneWorld Community Health Centers in partnership with United Way of the Midlands.  

We’re proud of our accomplishments and milestones over the last 85 years and can’t wait to celebrate the next 85 with our members, employees and the people who make Nebraska great.  

To view the full timeline of BCBSNE’s milestones, visit our History page.