GEHA celebrates 80th year serving federal employees

geha 80th anniversary emblem

GEHA traces its roots to August 1937, when a group of 30 railway mail clerks met at Union Station in Kansas City. In those days, the postal service transported mail by train, with mail cars serving as post offices on wheels. Traveling post offices were staffed by railway mail clerks, who had a tradition of "passing the hat" to help pay hospital expenses for stricken co-workers. Originally called the Railway Mail Hospital Association, the group came together to help each other with the cost of medical care. Members paid $1 to join and 50 cents in dues each month.

In the decades that followed, the organization grew to serve all branches of the federal government. Renamed Government Employees Health Association in 2007, GEHA today is one of the nation’s largest health and dental plans for civilian federal employees. GEHA provides benefits to more than 1.8 million covered lives worldwide.

GEHA is also a large regional employer, with more than 1,000 employees in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

"Our 80th anniversary is a time to build on our strengths and legacy of caring. With our teams, we have reaffirmed our commitment to our members and their families," said Julie Browne, GEHA President and CEO. "It's both an exciting and challenging time. Never has health care changed more rapidly."