Expect integrity and support when you work with Wellmark
Maintaining your trust. Transforming the health care system. Contributing to community vitality. Maximizing your investment.
Wellmark, Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. We’re also a mutual insurance company, which means we’re owned by our members and not investors — and that’s important. Since we’re owned by our friends and neighbors, we know what’s important to them.
Wellmark members demand exceptional value. We work hard every day to deliver that by carefully managing costs, providing outstanding customer service and empowering our members to stay healthy.
We aren’t motivated by profits. We’re motivated by the well-being of our friends, family and neighbors—our members. It is our job to deliver the health insurance your employees can depend on, all while operating efficiently.
A modest operating margin target of 2–3% covers administrative expenses, including claims processing, customer service, health care provider contracting, network access, and more. We keep these costs as low as possible, so everyone in Iowa and South Dakota can have exceptional, affordable coverage, provided to them by a friendly, ethical company.
That’s our promise to you and your employees.
We maximize the value of your plan. Our combination of network strength (100% of hospitals and 99% of doctors) plus payment innovation yields the lowest cost of care, without sacrificing the member experience or quality of care.
From ease of enrollment to customer service to claims processing, we’re dedicated to doing things right the first time. High member and payor satisfaction is the result.
We’re good stewards of your dollar. In fact, nearly 95 cents of every premium dollar is spent on health care costs. It’s earned us an ‘A’ financial security rating from AMBest.
Every week we process over 500,000 claims, paying out an average of $113 million for those claims. And partly due to that operational efficiency, we’ve had a 0% increase in employee insurance premiums, three years running.
We treat your employees as your most valuable resource. Our member programs and 24/7 support team resulted in a 13% decrease in in-patient admissions and an 11% decrease in length of stay. We also offer members a suite of digital tools to help them manage their health care, whether at home or on the go.
75 years’ worth of trust. That is what we’ve built our reputation on. We’ve worked hard to earn the trust of Iowans and South Dakotans. It is not something we take lightly. When our members aren’t happy, we do our very best to make the situation right. The health insurance industry can be complicated, but it’s our job to make it as easy as possible for our members and your employees.
The health care industry is changing. That’s a fact. Wellmark is working to help change it for the better.
Everyone deserves affordable and sustainable health insurance options. That’s why Wellmark’s corporate imperative is to reduce the rate of health care cost increases to equal the rate of inflation.
Our members deserve health care delivered with a focus on quality —not quantity—of care. And, members should be able to make clear and informed decisions when it comes to their care. The work we are doing inside the health care system by collaborating with our health care partners will create these changes, all while working to minimize ever increasing health care costs.
However, it doesn’t stop there. These changes come with fostering strong, healthy communities and helping citizens make small, yet significant changes to improve their well-being. We refer to this as the work being done outside the health care system.
By working together, we can create a healthier tomorrow. And we promise to work every day to make this possible.
A few highlights from 100+ years of service...
1900 – The Blue Shield concept—born of employers’ desire to provide medical coverage to employees—emerges from the lumber and mining camps of the Pacific Northwest.
1929 – An official at Baylor University in Dallas, Texas introduces a plan to guarantee schoolteachers hospital care for a small yearly premium. The idea takes off nationwide and the Blue Cross concept is born.
1939 – The birth year of what is now Wellmark: Hospital Service Incorporated of Iowa, later known as Blue Cross of Iowa, begins business in Des Moines. That same year, Associated Hospital Services Incorporated, later known as Blue Cross of Western Iowa and South Dakota, begins in Sioux City, Iowa.
1945– Iowa Medical Service, later known as Blue Shield of Iowa, forms.
1989 – Blue Cross of Iowa, Blue Shield of Iowa and Blue Cross of Western Iowa and South Dakota merge to form IASD Health Services Corporation.
1991 – IASD Health Services Corporation becomes a mutual insurance company owned by its shareholders.
1997 – We adopt the name Wellmark.
2011 – We partner with Healthways to introduce Blue Zones Project®, a centerpiece of Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative to improve the wellbeing of all Iowans, as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
2012 – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa announce a groundbreaking collaboration with Iowa Health System and Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines, creating Iowa’s first commercial health plan accountable care organization (ACOs).
2014 – We celebrate our 75th anniversary.
2016 – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa creates two new health insurance companies with Mercy Health Network and University of Iowa Health System to develop and deliver plans on and off the public exchange and in the small group market.