75 years of health care access

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Since 1946, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina has continuously worked with patients and providers to offer South Carolinians secure, cost-efficient health care coverage. In honor of our 75th anniversary, this interactive timeline will take you on a journey through our company’s long and storied history. Along the way, you will learn the purpose, follow the progress and meet the people that made — and continue to make — BlueCross the great company we know it to be. Whether you are a new hire, an “old timer” or anywhere in between, we thank you for all you do and hope you enjoy the journey! Scroll down to get started.

Scaling for Success

Wise business leaders know success hinges on a company’s ability to adapt and respond to change. That philosophy has been central to BlueCross’ mission. By seizing new opportunities, BlueCross has been able to increase its scope of services — and scale them for greatest efficiencies — to provide more affordable and cutting-edge insurance products and services or technology solutions for its customers. Browse through this section to find out more.

Scaling for Success

Alpine Agency becomes BlueCross’ first subsidiary

The agency gave BlueCross representatives an option for marketing our hospital and medical coverage with life insurance products.


Scaling for Success

BlueCross acquires Companion Life

Acquired to meet the demand from the marketplace to provide comprehensive benefit packages beyond hospital and medical coverage, Companion Life has since expanded across the United States, offering a wide portfolio of life, disability, dental and other ancillary products.


Scaling for Success

BlueCross and BlueShield merge into one mutual insurance company

This structural change would give the company greater flexibility in pursuing its diversification strategy, increasing in scale to control costs and defend against competitive attacks. It also allowed the company to expand beyond the border of South Carolina with innovative products and services well beyond traditional medical insurance.


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Scaling for Success

Planned Administrators Inc. (PAI) is formed

With its acquisition of PAI a few years later, BlueCross enters the third-party administration (TPA) arena, leveraging its core competencies of health plan administration, claims processing and more by offering these services to self-funded groups. BlueCross would later acquire a second TPA, Thomas H. Cooper and Company (TCC of South Carolina), which merged with PAI in 2021. PAI also launched a Blue-branded TPA in 2020, Blue Solutions Administrator, to offer employers access to the popular national BlueCross network.


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Scaling for Success

BlueCross creates the Companion Corporation

The goal was to facilitate the growth of new subsidiary companies and business ventures. Companion HealthCare Corporation and Companion Property & Casualty were the first companies formed, followed by Companion Life, Companion Technologies, Companion Pharmacy, Companion Capital Management and Companion Information Management Resources. Over the years, some of these subsidiaries have been closed, sold, restructured or renamed to help us achieve our business goals. 


Scaling for Success

BlueCross offers administrative services for behavioral health benefits

Companion Benefit Alternatives Inc. was formed to coordinate and manage mental health and substance abuse services as well as the benefits of employee assistance programs (EAPs). In 2007, BlueChoice acquired First Sun EAP.


Scaling for Success

BlueCross begins to spin off its government programs division into subsidiary companies

Palmetto GBA LLC was formed first to focus on Medicare contracting. Four years later, PGBA LLC was created to go after TRICARE contracts. In 2001, BlueCross acquired CGS® Administrators to expand its Medicare contracting footprint.


Scaling for Success

National Alliance begins processing claims for other Blue Plans

This BlueCross division has experienced tremendous growth, offering back-office, administrative services to other Blue Plans for their large, complex, self-funded and national group accounts.


Scaling for Success

Companion Data Services® (CDS) LLC is formed

CDS hit the ground running by winning key federal contracts, including consolidating CMS’ data centers and providing operational support to the national 1-800-Medicare call center. In 2007, CDS created a new and separate data center for processing government contracts. And in 2009, CDS would win the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association mainframe hosting contract for interplan processing.


Scaling for Success

BlueCross acquires UCI Medical Affiliates

UCI provides nonmedical management and administrative services to clinical practices, including a network of Doctors Care and Progressive Physical Therapy facilities that offer patients a convenient option for same-day care.


Scaling for Success

BlueCross’ Government Programs subsidiaries form the Celerian® Group

This new structure and brand strengthened the market position of the individual companies and operating divisions that serve the government contracting sector. The Celerian Group would further expand to acquire JBS International in 2017 and Karna in 2018.


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