Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan got its start in 1938 when the Michigan Society for Group Hospitalization began, as did the Michigan Medical Service. The two companies worked together in 1939 on bills to regulate prepaid health care plans and make them nonprofit, like community-based hospitals at the time.
By 1940, the Michigan Society for Group Hospitalization had over 175,000 customers from 350 employers. In 1940, the Society and the Service changed their names to Michigan Blue Cross and Michigan Blue Shield.
In 1966, Michigan Blue Cross and Michigan Blue Shield began administering Medicare in the state. In 1978, at the request of state officials, BCBS of Michigan purchased a struggling health maintenance organization and by the 1990s, Blue Care Network was: