Home Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care WellPoint WellPoint – History

WellPoint – History


Wellpoint was formed in 2004 as a result of the merger between Wellpoint Health Networks (WHN) and Anthem. Anthem was the outgrowth of two Indianapolis-based corporations formed in 1944 and 1946 as mutual insurance companies, commonly known as Blue Cross of Indiana and Blue Shield of Indiana. Wellpoint Health Networks was formed in 1996 through the merger of former Wellpoint and Blue Cross of California into a single stockholder-owned company.

Blue Cross of California was founded in 1982 with the consolidation of Blue Cross of Northern California (established in 1936) and Blue Cross of Southern California (established in 1937).

In 1993, Blue Cross of California spun off its managed care business into a separate publicly traded entity, Wellpoint Health Networks (WHN). In the same year, Anthem merged with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kentucky, the first cross-state merger of two strong Blue plans. Two years later, Anthem merged with Community Mutual, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan in Ohio.

Blue Cross of California completed the conversion of all its business to for-profit status, resulting in a restructuring that designated WHN as the parent organization in 1996. WHN acquired the Group Life and Health Subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company in the same year.

In 1997, Anthem merged with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Connecticut and WHN acquired a substantial portion of the group benefit operations of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company and CostCare.

Anthem acquired Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado and Nevada in 1999. A year later, Anthem acquired Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine and WHN acquired Rush Prudential Health Plans of Illinois and PrecisionRx, a mail service pharmacy fulfillment center in Texas.

WHN’s expansion continued in 2001 with the acquisition of Cerulean Companies, the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. In 2001, Anthem conducted an initial public offering of common stock.

In 2002 Anthem acquired Trigon Healthcare of Virginia, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan, in Virginia. WHN acquired RightCHOICE, the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri and HealthLink, in the same year. Later in the same year, WHN also acquired MethodistCare, a health maintenance organization (HMO) in Texas.

WHN acquired Golden West Dental and Vision in Camarillo, California and Cobalt Corporation and its family of companies, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield United of Wisconsin in 2003.

Anthem and WHN merged to form Wellpoint in 2004 for around $16.5 billion. Wellpoint acquired Lumenos, a pioneer and market leader in consumer-driven health programs, in June 2005.Wellpoint and Wellchoice jointly signed a definitive merger agreement in September 2005, whereby Wellchoice would operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Wellpoint. Subsequently, the acquisition was completed in December 2005.

Wellpoint’s subsidiary, AdminaStar Federal, was awarded the Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contract (DME MAC) for geographic jurisdiction B (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) in early 2006.This contract was for the administration of Medicare claims from suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies. Wellpoint entered into an agreement to acquire the Medicaid plan from QualChoice Health Plan (QualChoice), an Ohio- based managed care organization, in April 2006.

In the third Quarter of 2006 the company revised its reportable segments to be reported from first quarter of 2007. Eventually new segments were formed namely commercial and consumer business (CCB); specialty, senior and state-sponsored business (4SB); and other replacing the old segments namely health care, specialty and other.

In August 2006, WellPoint acquired QualChoice Select, and Medicaid plan from QualChoice Health Plan, an Ohio- based managed care organization.

WellPoint partnered with CVS/pharmacy as a part of its efforts to help educate seniors about Medicare Part D options during the upcoming Medicare Part D open enrollment period in October 2006.

In August 2007, WellPoint acquired American Imaging Management (AIM), a leading radiology benefit management and technology company. In the same month American Imaging Management (AIM), announced that it has been selected by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, to deliver imaging network information and transparency services through AIM’s OptiNet program.