The history and expertise of Ontario Blue Cross has always made us a trusted ally in health care, travel insurance, and life insurance. Beyond a symbol, we offer our customers, employees, and partners exceptional support and assistance around the globe. Human beings are at the heart of our priorities, bringing people together to serve communities.
With our social mission in mind, Blue Cross has supported community initiatives from the very beginning.
In 1929, a group of teachers in Texas carried out a social experiment: they agreed to pay a moderate sum each semester at the university hospital in exchange for 21 days of care. Taking on the evocative name of Blue Cross, the concept spread rapidly.
The blue cross symbol appeared for the first time in North America in 1934. During the 1930s and 1940s, the movement spread throughout the United States and Canada.
The objective was clear: quality care without breaking the bank for the population.
In 1941, the Ontario Association of Hospitals borrowed $15,000 to create the Blue Cross Plan to cover hospital care. During this same period, in the early 1940s, 16 Quebec doctors and businessmen founded an association that proposed plans to help pay for hospital expenses. The plans were based on the American Blue Cross model.
The Blue Cross Plan was founded in Ontario
Initially focusing on hospitalizations, health insurance gradually expanded to include physician visits and prescription drugs. Hospitals, including future university hospitals, were also able to invest, improve their services, and innovate through collaboration with Blue Cross Plans at the national level.
In 1957, new laws in Ontario and Quebec introduced universal health care and drug coverage. Aimed at relieving congestion in the hospital network, Blue Cross developed supplementary and advantageous offers to meet the growing health care needs of thousands of citizens.
In the mid-1970s, air travel became more affordable, and tourism became more common. Vacationers discovered there are risks associated with travel. Blue Cross launched its first travel insurance policy in 1977 to cover emergency medical expenses abroad.
With its experience and reputation, Blue Cross created its travel assistance subsidiary in 1989. A leader in its field, our travel assistance offers an international service that is accessible from anywhere in the world.
Our Flight Delay Service was introduced in 2018, allowing travellers to receive compensation based on the length of the delay. This would give them access to an airport lounge or a hotel room.
With one insured person out of three in North America, Blue Cross has an enviable reputation! Among the most renowned Canadian companies rated by Leger in 2015, it ranked first as the leading health care provider. In Canada, it ranks among the top three most renowned brands.
Blue Cross is now a pan-Canadian brand and is marketed in all provinces through Blue Cross plan networks organized by the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans.