In 1937, a group of Minnesotans came together to help people pay hospital bills that were hard to afford. Four men – a credit union manager whose health was failing, a cowboy turned postal worker, an idealistic cooperative manager, and a socially-conscious lawyer – set out to form a prepaid health plan. But cooperative, prepaid medicine was illegal in Minnesota at the time. So, over the next 20 years, they worked and changed the laws.
Together, they established Group Health in 1957. It was one of the first consumer-governed, prepaid health plans in the United States. While radical at the time, it helped change American health care for the better.
The Como Clinic opened on Aug. 1, 1957 in St. Paul, Minn. The clinic had several rooms with frugal furnishings – examining tables, desks and chairs. A sympathetic patient bought the clinic an operating lamp. The clinic was sparse, in part, because it lacked funds. Most medical procedures took place in hospitals. Community clinics performed mostly routine exams.
In 1992, Group Health merged with MedCenters Health Plan. Together, they formed HealthPartners. Since then, we’ve combined with notable care organizations. They include Park Nicollet Health System, Regions Hospital, Lakeview Health, and Hudson Hospital & Clinic. In the 2010s, we also expanded our insurance business to new states. You’ll now find us in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Group Health is founded as one of the first consumer-governed, prepaid health plans in the United States. Como Clinic in St. Paul, Minn., is our first clinic.
First prepaid dental plan in Minnesota launches.
Nurse support by phone gives members night and weekend help.
First clinic in Minnesota for refugees from Southeast Asia is founded – the HealthPartners Center for International Health.
HealthPartners Research Foundation opens. It becomes one of the U.S.’s largest research foundations associated with a group practice.
Group Health and MedCenters merge to form HealthPartners. Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., joins HealthPartners.
Phone health coaching launches to meet patients where they’re at. Dieticians, pharmacists and health educators coach patients.
HealthPartners teams ups to establish a health cooperative in Uganda.
First Minnesota dental clinic designed for low-income people and new Americans opens. Westfields Hospital & Clinic in New Richmond, Wisc., joins HealthPartners.
HealthPartners receives the national Acclaim Award for excellent patient care. It’s awarded by the American Medical Group Association.
The HealthPartners HMO/PPO insurance plan is recognized as a national benchmark. It’s listed in seven areas of a National Business Coalition on Health report.
Hudson Hospital & Clinic in Hudson, Wis. joins HealthPartners.
Virtuwell, our 24/7 online clinic, launches. It brings on-demand care to patients.
Lakeview Health in Stillwater, Minn., joins HealthPartners. Lakeview Health includes Stillwater Medical Group and Lakeview Hospital.
Make It OK, a program to help end mental illness stigma, launches.
Amery Hospital & Clinic joins HealthPartners.
UnityPoint Health and HealthPartners announce an affiliation agreement.
The HealthPartners Neuroscience Center opens in St. Paul, Minn. HealthPartners named a Top 15 Health System in the U.S. by IBM Watson Health. HealthPartners announces partnership with Bellin Health and ThedaCare to launch Robin with HealthPartners health plan products.
Hutchinson Health joins HealthPartners.
HealthPartners receives the Health Equity Award for increasing access to care and reducing health disparities. It’s awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.