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January 17, 1959

medical society approved plans, including blue shield, and private insurance programs

JAMA. 1959;169(SPECIAL):54-65. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000350056004

I. ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF THESE PLAN  S Reportedly, the earliest forms of voluntary medical benefit "insurance" in this country were those offered through mutual benefit associations, employee benefit associations, and fraternal societies. Some of these date back to 1851, and others claim dates of origin of 1854, 1860, etc. In many instances these earlier efforts were developed for the benefit of employees of certain industries which might be geographically isolated. There were also organizations centered around religious and nationality groups at about the same time. For the most part their primary interest was providing financial assistance in the event of death or disability, but many of them made provision either for the payment of health care expenses or for professional services.Some of the present-day legal-reserve insurance companies were organized originally as employee benefit associations or fraternal societies.Other committees of the Commission have treated in greater detail the