Skip to main content

Company History

Horizon BCBSNJ timeline - Year Company Milestone

1932
Associated Hospitals, Inc., the first multi-hospital service plan, provides pre-paid hospital coverage.

1936
The Plan goes statewide as the Hospital Service Plan of New Jersey.

1940
The Enabling Act providing for the organization of non-profit medical service corporations was passed by the Legislature and signed into law in May.

1942
The Medical-Surgical Plan of New Jersey was incorporated.

1960
Legislation is passed, empowering the State Employees' Health Benefits Commission to purchase basic health insurance from BCBS.

1964
Legislation is enacted, permitting participation by New Jersey Blue Cross and Blue Shield in national accounts, joint Blue Cross Blue Shield subscriber contracts, and master group contracts.

1966
Medicare goes into effect, with 80 out of 120 hospitals in New Jersey electing Blue Cross to administer their claims under Part A.

1967
Hospital Service Plan goes on the market with a freestanding benefit for prescribed drugs.

1969
New Jersey's Medicaid bill preserves a role for Blue Cross in the administration of this new benefits program for welfare categories.

1972
Marketing Major Medical benefits to local experience-rated groups is approved. To reduce duplicate payments, Coordination of Benefits with other carriers for group subscribers is instituted.

1973
New Jersey's first Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) opens in Trenton.

1977
Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced year-round "Open Enrollment. Blue Shield is able to underwrite Dental coverage.

1981
Major Medical is made available to individual subscribers, regardless of health history.

1984
Medigroup, Inc. is formed to develop a statewide network of HMOs.

1985
Cost containment programs, such as Pre-Admission Review, Mandatory Second Surgical Opinion Program, and Incentive Ambulatory Surgery Program are made available to groups.

1986
Blue Cross of New Jersey and Blue Shield of New Jersey merge to become Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey, Inc.

1989
The Plan takes a lead role in the New Jersey Cesarean Section Task Force to examine why NJ’s rate of cesarean births is one of the highest in the nation.

1991
The Plan began implementation of its sophisticated "single stream" claims processing system.

1992
Landmark legislation ends BCBSNJ's role as the state's insurer of last resort by spreading the risk among all carriers who underwrite individual health insurance in NJ.

1993
BCBSNJ expands its managed care operations, creating managed care hospital and dental networks. The Plan enters the Medicaid HMO market. Horizon NJ Health is formed to serve the Medicaid population.

1994
Membership in managed care programs rises to 25% of total membership.

1995
BCBSNJ retains its role as administrator of the hospital portion of the state of New Jersey's indemnity plan, and regains the medical/surgical and major medical portions of the State Health Benefits Program. BCBSNJ is awarded the State's New Jersey Plus program. Five hundred new jobs and 103,000 members were added to BCBSNJ's managed care rolls.

1996
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is signed into law protecting patients’ privacy rights.

The Plan enters the Medicare HMO market.

1997
BCBSNJ abandons plans to acquire Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, and to convert to a mutual insurance company.

1998
The company begins doing business as Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ)., Membership exceeds 2 million in NJ.

1999
Horizon BCBSNJ announces that Horizon Healthcare of New York was licensed to operate as an HMO in New York City and surrounding counties. Horizon Mercy pursues acquisitions, making it the largest provider of Medicaid HMO services in NJ and in the U.S.

2000
Horizon BCBSNJ renews its commitment to South Jersey, while scaling back Pennsylvania and Delaware operations.

2001
Horizon BCBSNJ opens its Mt. Laurel, NJ office.

2002
Horizon BCBSNJ introduces the World Class Clinical Quality health care initiative to improve the overall health of residents, provide greater information to doctors and consumers, and promote evidence-based medicine through effective preventive health and disease management programs.

2003
Horizon BCBSNJ launches's the Health Care Dollars & Sense campaign, a multi-year, multimedia initiative, to provide health education to the public. The Company creates The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, a charitable organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being and quality of life in New Jersey's communities.

2004
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) become available.

With over 3 million members and nearly a $1 billion in surplus, Horizon BCBSNJ solidifies its position as New Jersey's largest health insurer. Over 1 million dental members enroll by year end.

2005
Horizon BCBSNJ commits to the Medicare Part D program by building the necessary infrastructure and helping seniors better understand their health care choices.

2006
Medicare’s Part D drug benefit becomes effective.

Horizon BCBSNJ withdraws its health insurance products in New York.

2007
The National Committee for Quality Assurance upgrades Horizon BCBSNJ's HMO accreditation to "Excellent with Distinction" for providing members with important information about doctors and hospitals in the Horizon BCBSNJ network.

2008
Horizon BCBSNJ invests in a groundbreaking Patient Centered Medical Home pilot program for patients with diabetes.

2009
Horizon NJ Health receives the highest score among the state's Medicaid HMO plans.

2010
Horizon BCBSNJ was recognized as one of The Nation's 100 Best Companies by Working Mother Magazine.

Diversity MBA Magazine ranked Horizon BCBSN #11 in the nation as "Best Place for Diverse Managers."

Horizon BCBSNJ is the only health plan in New Jersey to administer the NJ Protect Plan for uninsured residents with pre-existing conditions.

2011
Horizon BCBSNJ launches NJ’s first comprehensive, state-wide Patient Centered Medical Home.

2012
Horizon BCBSNJ recognized as one "The Best Insurance Companies in 2012" by Insure.com.

Horizon BCBSNJ opens state’s first health insurance retail center so residents can get helpful information about their coverage and options.

2013
Standard & Poor's upgrades Horizon BCBSNJ's financial rating from "A-" to "A."

Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces open. Horizon BCBSNJ, one of only three health insurers in New Jersey, begins offering five products on the Marketplace.

2014
Horizon BCBSNJ creates the first Patient-Centered Pregnancy and Delivery Episode of Care (EOC) Program, to better coordinate care for pregnant women.

Horizon NJ Health launches a Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) program.

Celebrating a decade of community support, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey awards Wheaton Arts – its 1,000th grant recipient – a special anniversary grant of $10,000.

Patient-Centered Medical Home Program results show higher percentages of compliance with medical screenings and diabetes control, and lower rates of emergency room visits, hospital admissions and total cost of care.

Horizon BCBSNJ announces investment in COTA, Inc., an oncology-management technology company whose real-time data platform supports personalized and optimal care and transition to value-based care models.

New Episode of Care program launched with Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) – one of the nation’s largest oncologist physician groups -- to deliver highly specialized care for breast cancer patients.

2015
More than 800,000 Horizon BCBSNJ members benefit from the company’s patient-centered programs.

2014 results from Horizon BCBSNJ’s patient-centered program showed a 6 percent higher rate of diabetes control, 8 percent higher rate in colorectal cancer screenings, 5 percent lower rate in emergency room visits, and 9 percent lower total cost of care.

Unique OMNIA Health Alliance, formed by Horizon BCBSNJ with several leading New Jersey health systems and a major multispecialty physician group, are committed to transforming how health care is financed and delivered in New Jersey.

Horizon BCBSNJ builds on its patient-centered programs and introduces a new suite of OMNIASM Health Plans providing high quality, affordable coverage to consumers, families, small businesses and large employers.

2016
New division – Corporate and Regulatory Affairs – created to pursue changes that help address rising cost of health care in New Jersey.

Over 41,000 previously uninsured consumers in the individual market choose an OMNIA Health Plan for their health insurance coverage.

Standard & Poor’s affirms Horizon BCBSNJ’s credit rating of “A” and notes Horizon BCBSNJ is also “at the forefront of various innovating payment models... (that) …have been successful in improving health and lowering health care costs.”

Horizon BCBSNJ ranks #3 in the 2016 InformationWeek Elite 100 Users of Business Technology.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spotlights Horizon BCBSNJ as one of the nation's Affordable Care Act (ACA) success stories as it boosts its membership to record levels, particularly among previously uninsured consumers.

More than 1 million members benefit from patient-centered programs.

Horizon BCBSNJ introduces a Dual Special Needs Plan for the 2017 plan year for members eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Horizon BCBSNJ offers retired Medicare-eligible State Health Benefits Program members Medicare Advantage NJ DIRECT (PPO) plans.

Horizon BCBSNJ offers seven competitively-priced plans for 2017 on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, led by four OMNIA Health Plans and three broad network Advantage plans.

Horizon BCBSNJ and NantHealth launch study in which Horizon BCBSNJ will provide coverage for GPS Cancer test, enabling doctors to provide more personalized treatments based on the patient’s DNA and a unique biology of a patient’s tumor.

Horizon BCBSNJ is the most recommended health insurer in America according to Insure.com’s 2016 national survey results.

2017
Horizon BCBSNJ holds a commemorative ceremony at its Newark headquarters to celebrate its 85th anniversary. The company's employees and officers were joined by local, state and congressional leaders in paying tribute to Horizon’s commitment to New Jersey and serving millions of Garden State residents over several generations.

Horizon BCBSNJ is honored with a 2017 CSO50 Award from IDG's CSO (Chief Security Officer). This prestigious honor pays tribute to a select group of 50 organizations that have demonstrated that their security projects and initiatives have created outstanding business value and thought leadership for their companies

Horizon BCBSNJ applauds a legislative agreement modifying the Health Service Corporation statutes and ending the State Budget impasse and New Jersey State government shutdown.

Horizon BCBSNJ and Sanitas Medical Centers announce a collaboration to open a new multicultural health care facility in Union City.  The medical center is independently owned and operated by Sanitas and will provide family primary care services, comprehensive urgent care, laboratory and diagnostic imaging services, as well as educational programs in wellness and disease management.

2018
Horizon collaborates with Quartet to better integrate mental and physical care and improve total patient health. Quartet provides a suite of tools to help primary care physicians identify patients with behavioral health needs and connect them to the specialists best suited to address those needs.

Horizon BCBSNJ announces plan to use federal tax refunds to provide $150 million to customers in 2018 and for $125 million multi-year investment to improve care.

Sanitas opens its second medical center in New Jersey, in Bellville, bringing its family centered, culturally relevant and preventive focused primary care model to members of Horizon BCBSNJ.

Horizon BCBSNJ enters a multi-year agreement with Rutgers University in which it becomes  the “Official Health Insurance Partner of the Scarlet Knights.”

Horizon BCBSNJ held a grand opening of a new Horizon Connect Retail Center inside the Sanitas Medical Center in Union City. The retail center is the latest addition to Horizon’s ongoing effort to help New Jersey’s Hispanic residents obtain health insurance and access high quality, affordable health care.

Horizon NJ Health celebrates its 25th Anniversary of serving the Medicaid population.