Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a privately-held mutual insurance company, who along with its affiliates covers more than 2-million throughout South Dakota and Iowa. As a member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Wellmark customers are part of a national network, which covers nearly one-third of all Americans.
In order to be and remain a successful business, Wellmark focuses squarely on customers by delivering health insurance products that are an exceptional value. They offer flexible benefits, competitive pricing, and a generous selection of providers. Nearly every hospital and doctor in the two-state area participates in the Wellmark network.
Wellmark started in 1939 when Hospital Service Incorporated of Iowa (HSI) was formed in Des Moines and that same year, Associated Hospital Service Incorporated (AHS) was founded. In 1945, Iowa Medical Service (IMS) was founded. In 1948, AHS began marketing itself in South Dakota as Blue Cross and in 1956 South Dakota Medical Service began conducting business in the state as South Dakota Blue Shield. In 1973, AHS began doing business as Blue Cross of Western Iowa and South Dakota.
Later, Blue Cross of Iowa, Blue Shield of Iowa, and Blue Cross of Western Iowa and South Dakota merged in 1989 to form IASD Health Services Corporation and two years later, the company became a policyholder-held mutual insurance company. In 1996, Blue Shield of South Dakota merges with IASD and in 1997 the entire enterprise adopted the Wellmark brand.
Wellmark is a mutual insurance company owned by its over 2-million policyholders. The company is a proud part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which insures more than 100-million. Currently, Wellmark employs nearly 1900 in South Dakota and Iowa.
Wellmark’s companies and affiliates include Wellmark, Inc., which is Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa; Wellmark of South Dakota, Inc, which functions as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota; Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc.; and The Wellmark Foundation. In addition, Wellmark also administers third-party insurance through subsidiaries in South Dakota and Iowa.