Definitions for "Blue Shield"
An independent, non-profit membership corporation providing protection on a service basis against the cost of surgical and medical care in a limited geographical area.
The familiar title for the Associated Medical Care Plans, an independent membership association cooperating with Blue Cross and providing protection against the costs of surgery, doctors, and other items of medical care. Benefit payments are made directly to the doctor, not to the policyowner.
Nonprofit, health insurance plans for physician care that was initially formed by physicians.  Regulated by statutes of various states, Blue Shield insurance plans are autonomous and vary from place to place in coverage, cost, policies, and procedures.  Early in their development, Blue Shield plans began to negotiate price discounts with physicians in return for volume business.  Some Blue Shield plans have joined with Blue Cross plans so both hospital and physician care is covered.