The rise of Elevance Health: 10 things to know

In October, Elevance Health crowned itself the largest commercial insurance company in the United States. Here's how it got there:

  1. In 1946, Anthem was founded in Indianapolis as Mutual Hospital Insurance and Mutual Medical Insurance, which grew significantly through the 1970's.

  2. In 1972, the two renamed companies, Blue Cross of Indiana and Blue Shield of Indiana, entered a joint operating agreement and merged as Associated Insurance Companies by 1985 — the Anthem name was already in use by then.

  3. The company continued major growth from 1985 through the early 2000's, when its purchases included the BCBS affiliates in Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, Maine and Virginia. The company officially became Anthem Insurance Company in 1996 and reached 11.9 million members by 2002.

  4. In 1992, WellPoint was founded as the parent company of Blue Cross of California and became WellPoint Health Networks in 1996. In the early 2000's, WellPoint acquired the BCBS affiliates in Georgia, Missouri, Wisconsin and New York.

  5. In 2004, Anthem Insurance Company and WellPoint Health Networks merged to officially become just WellPoint, but the company operated under the brand name, Anthem. The company sold BCBS affiliates in 11 states and kept 14, which it still operates today.

  6. The company officially rebranded to Anthem in 2014 and attempted to purchase Cigna for $54 billion in 2015. That proposal was blocked by a federal court in 2017.

  7. Also in 2017, the company named its current CEO, Gail Boudreaux.

  8. Anthem continued to expand throughout the 2010's by starting its own PBM, IngenioRX, purchasing Medicaid managed care and Medicare Advantage companies, along with a $20 million expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters.

  9. In June 2022, Anthem officially rebranded as Elevance Health to represent the company's commitment to "elevating the importance of whole health and advancing health beyond healthcare for consumers." The company also launched its healthcare services arm, Carelon, and Wellpoint to unify Medicare, Medicaid and commercial plans in certain markets.

  10. On Oct. 24, 2022, Ms. Boudreaux told investors that the company is now the largest commercial insurance company in the U.S. by total membership. As of Sept. 30, membership was 47.3 million people, including 31.4 million commercial and specialty, 11.3 million Medicaid and 1.97 million Medicare Advantage members.


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