THE HISTORY OF HEALTH INSURANCE The history of health insurance goes back centuries, possibly to ancient China and the Norman Conquest. Henry I introduced sweeping health care reforms to the newly combined kingdoms of England and Normandy. Soon thereafter, at least one "physician," "John of Essex," was receiving an honorarium of one penny per day for his efforts. As historians explained, that sum was roughly equal to that paid to a foot soldier or a blind person. Historically, doctors haven't always been the high earners that they are today (1).