Wisconsin Physicians Service

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Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation
Industry Insurance
Founded 1946
Headquarters Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Key people
Ray Koenig, First President
Mike Hamerlik, President & CEO
Number of employees
Website www.wpsic.com

Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation (WPS Health Solutions) is a not-for-profit service insurance corporation based in Madison, Wisconsin. WPS offers health insurance plans for groups and individuals and benefit plan administration for businesses. WPS also provides insurance claims processing services under various U.S. government contracts and has a subsidiary corporation, EPIC Specialty Benefits, offering dental and other nonmedical benefits.[1]


In 1946, the State Medical Society of Wisconsin formed the WPS division in Milwaukee to market and administer the Wisconsin Plan, a non-profit insurance plan intended to help those having difficulty paying for health care.[2]

Charles Crownhart became WPS’ first chief executive officer in 1946, and WPS was awarded the American Medical Association (AMA) Seal of Acceptance in 1948.

WPS relocated from Milwaukee to Madison in 1950. WPS expanded across the state over the next decade, opening sales offices in Kenosha, Green Bay, Eau Claire, Milwaukee, and Wausau. Later, offices were opened in Appleton and La Crosse. WPS moved its Madison headquarters to 1717 W. Broadway in November 1973. In 1998, WPS consolidated its three major lines of business—Medicare, TRICARE, and WPS Health Insurance—on its Monona campus.

In 1975, the Wisconsin legislature passed a law requiring that service insurance corporations be legally separate from the parent professional society.[3]

In order to comply with the legislation, on April 27, 1977, WPS ended its relationship with the Wisconsin Medical Society, becoming an independent not-for-profit corporation.[4]

Ray Koenig was named the first president of WPS.

On June 11, 2012, Mike Hamerlik succeeded Jim Riordan as WPS president and chief executive officer. Hamerlik was formerly the CEO of Noridian Administrative Services, LLC.

In 2016, the International Ethisphere Institute® named WPS one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® for the seventh straight year.[5]

WPS Military and Veterans Health[edit]

The WPS Military and Veterans Health (MVH) business unit serves members of the U.S. military and their families through TRICARE and Veterans Administration programs.

Since 1956, WPS has continually served the Military Health System as a claims administrator. WPS managed the first regional plan for Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS).

WPS MVH provides claims administration, customer service, and related activities for the TRICARE Overseas Program and TRICARE For Life Program. WPS MVH also does contract work for the Veterans Choice program, which is operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.[6]

On July 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded Humana Government Business the TRICARE 2017 contract for the East Region, with WPS MVH as a subcontractor. WPS will provide information technology support, claims processing, and customer service functions. The East Region includes 30 states and approximately 6 million TRICARE beneficiaries.[7]

WPS Government Health Administrators[edit]

The WPS Government Health Administrators (GHA) business unit administers Medicare Part A and Part B benefits for millions of seniors in multiple states.

During the 1960s, WPS developed its Century Plan for customers age 65 and older and a Medicare PLUS supplement plan, now known as WPS Medicare Companion. It is the most popular Wisconsin-based Medicare supplement plan in the state, with more than 42,000 members, based on enrollment data submitted to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 2015.

In 1966, the year Medicare was established, WPS was named the Medicare administrator for the state of Wisconsin. WPS is currently the Medicare Administrative Contractor for Jurisdiction 5 in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, as well as for Jurisdiction 8 in Indiana and Michigan.[8]

Mutual of Omaha Medicare acquisition[edit]

In 2005, WPS and Mutual of Omaha announced the acquisition of Mutual of Omaha's Medicare Part A division.[9] Under this agreement, Mutual of Omaha's Medicare Part A division was transferred to WPS. This facilitated WPS competing for the new Medicare Administrative Contract (MAC) regions, which require combined Part A and Part B administration. Previously, CMS awarded separate Part A and Part B contracts by state.[10][citation needed]

EPIC Specialty Benefits[edit]

In 1984, WPS created The EPIC Life Insurance Company to sell and administer life and disability insurance. Renamed EPIC Specialty Benefits in 2015, the subsidiary offers term life insurance, disability, dental, vision, and voluntary benefits throughout the Midwest.

Arise Health Plan[edit]

In 2005, WPS purchased the assets of Prevea Health Plan and formed a new wholly owned subsidiary. In 2006, the plan was renamed Arise Health Plan.[11]

Aspirus Arise Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc.[edit]

On Jan. 26, 2016, WPS announced it was entering a partnership with Aspirus, forming Aspirus Arise Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., a health insurance company. In 2017, Aspirus Arise will begin selling health plans in 16 counties in north-central Wisconsin.[12]


  1. ^ "EPIC Life Insurance". www.epiclife.com. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  2. ^ "Society Timeline - Wisconsin Medical Society". www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  3. ^ "Chapter 223, Laws of 1975, State of Wisconsin" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "Report of the Examination of Wisconsin Physicians Insurance Corporation" (PDF). oci.wi.gov. 
  5. ^ "Honorees". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  6. ^ Journal, Dennis Punzel | Wisconsin State. "WPS secures $484 million government contract". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  7. ^ "WPS is part of contract award for TRICARE 2017 East Region". wpsic.com. 
  8. ^ "Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) As of July 2016" (PDF). cms.gov. 
  9. ^ "WPS, Mutual of Omaha press release". Archived from the original on May 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  10. ^ "Medicare Administrative Contractors". cms.gov. 
  11. ^ "History - Arise Health Plan". www.wecareforwisconsin.com. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  12. ^ "Aspirus to partner with WPS Health Solutions on new insurance company". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 

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