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Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield

Headquarters: One Liberty Plaza
New York, NY 10006
Phone: (212) 476-1000
Employees: 5,000+
CEO: Mark Wagar
Subsidiary of WellPoint

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Established in 1934, Empire has grown from a New York City-based hospital insurance provider to one of the largest health insurers in the United States. It offers a broad portfolio of managed care plans and insurance products, including HMO, POS, PPO, EPO and CDHP plans, available through a variety of funding arrangements.

Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Empire supports nearly six million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York State.

The BlueCard PPO/EPO network offered by Empire is larger than that of its nearest competitor, with more than 784,000 provider locations and more than 5,800 hospitals nationwide. More than 94 percent of hospitals and 84 percent of physicians in the nation participate in the BlueCard network.

In addition to health insurance products, Empire also offers life and dental insurance.

Empire is a subsidiary of WellPoint Corporation following a merger in 2005. WellPoint is one of the largest commercial health insurers in the country.


In 1934 Empire's earliest predecessor, Associated Hospital Service (AHS), was founded. In 1985, the merger of Blue Cross of Northeastern New York, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Greater New York created Empire BlueCross BlueShield.

In 2002, Empire became a for-profit company and went public under the name WellChoice. WellPoint acquired WellChoice in 2005.


Medical, health, prescription drug and dental health coverage for employees, spouses and dependent children through age 23. Same-sex domestic partner coverage is also available.
Life insurance.
Long term disability.
Cash Balance Pension Plan (100% employer-funded).
401(k) Employee Savings Plan with company match.
Paid sick days, holiday and vacation days, including the option to purchase additional vacation time.
Employee Stock Purchase program.
Tuition reimbursement.
Employee Assistance Program.
Health and dependent reimbursement accounts.

Updated October 23, 2011

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