Anthem (insurance)

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Anthem is an insurance company which began in the 1980s as a spin-off of the group insurance operations of American General Insurance. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield was created as part of the merger of The Associated Group, an Indianapolis-based diversified insurance and health care company, and Community Mutual Insurance Co. of Cincinnati.[1] From its move to a publicly traded company in 2001 until its final merger in 2004, it merged the Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations of several states to achieve economy of scale, converting them in the process from non-profit to for-profit status. In late 2004, Anthem and WellPoint merged, with the combined company taking the WellPoint name.

While Anthem no longer exists as a company, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand name is used by WellPoint in 11 states.

Anthem, Inc. grew out of two Indianapolis-based corporations formed in 1944 and 1946 as mutual insurance companies. Those two companies were created to provide health insurance to residents of Indiana as Blue Cross of Indiana and Blue Shield of Indiana. They eventually merged to form Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana. In October 2001, Anthem demutualized and conducted an initial public offering of common stock. WellPoint, Inc. (formerly Anthem, Inc.) was formed when WellPoint Health Networks Inc. and Anthem, Inc. merged in 2004 to become the nation's leading health benefits company.

WellPoint Health Network Inc.'s predecessor was Blue Cross of California, which 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). WellPoint was formed in 1992 to operate Blue Cross of California's managed care business. In 1993, Blue Cross of California spun off its managed care business into a separate publicly traded entity, WellPoint Health Networks Inc. In 1996, Blue Cross of California completed the conversion of all its business to for-profit status, resulting in a restructuring that designated WellPoint Health Networks Inc. as the parent organization.

Anthem and WellPoint have achieved a portion of this growth through mergers and acquisitions as follows:

National Growth Timeline

Date Event
1993 Anthem merges with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kentucky. This was the first cross-state merger of two strong Blue plans.
1995 Anthem merges with Community Mutual, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan in Ohio.
1996 WellPoint acquires the Group Life and Health Subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.
1997 Anthem merges with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Connecticut. WellPoint acquires a substantial portion of the Group Benefit Operations of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company and CostCare Inc.
1999 Anthem acquires Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado and Nevada.
2000 Anthem acquires Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine. WellPoint acquires Rush Prudential Health Plans of Illinois and PrecisionRx, a mail service pharmacy fulfillment center in Texas.
2001 WellPoint acquires Cerulean Companies Inc., the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia.
2002 Anthem acquires Trigon Healthcare of Virginia, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan in Virginia. WellPoint acquires RightCHOICE, the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri and HealthLink. WellPoint acquires MethodistCare, an HMO in Texas.
2003 WellPoint acquires Golden West Dental and Vision in Camarillo, California. WellPoint acquires Cobalt Corp. and its family of companies, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield United of Wisconsin.
2004 Anthem, Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. merge to become WellPoint, Inc.
2005 WellPoint, Inc. acquires Alexandria, Va.-based Lumenos, the pioneer and market leader in consumer-driven health plans. WellPoint, Inc. and WellChoice, Inc., merge, making New York the 14th state in which WellPoint is a Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee.
2007 WellPoint, Inc. acquires Chicago based American Imaging Management (AIM), the leading radiology benefit management company.
2008 WellPoint, Inc. acquires Maryland based Resolution Health, Inc., a leading data analytics-driven personal health care guidance company.

In 2011, Anthem began cancelling plans of members who had been paying premiums with credit cards, sometimes without calling or emailing the member ahead of time.[2]

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  2. ^ Using plastic to pay Anthem bill? Prepare to lose your coverage By David Lazarus September 20, 2011, Los Angeles Times