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Grounded in community

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.

Timeline 1957

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.

1968

First prepaid dental plan in Minnesota launches.

1975

Nurse support by phone gives members night and weekend help.

1980

First clinic in Minnesota for refugees from Southeast Asia is founded – the HealthPartners Center for International Health.

1990

HealthPartners Research Foundation opens. It becomes one of the U.S.’s largest research foundations associated with a group practice.

1993

Group Health and MedCenters merge to form HealthPartners. Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., joins HealthPartners.

1995

Phone health coaching launches to meet patients where they’re at. Dieticians, pharmacists and health educators coach patients.

1997

HealthPartners teams ups to establish a health cooperative in Uganda.

2005

First Minnesota dental clinic designed for low-income people and new Americans opens. Westfields Hospital & Clinic in New Richmond, Wisc., joins HealthPartners.

2006

HealthPartners receives the national Acclaim Award for excellent patient care. It’s awarded by the American Medical Group Association.

2008

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.

2009

Hudson Hospital & Clinic in Hudson, Wis. joins HealthPartners.

2010

virtuwell, our 24/7 online clinic, launches. It brings on-demand care to patients.

2011

Lakeview Health in Stillwater, Minn., joins HealthPartners. Lakeview Health includes Stillwater Medical Group and Lakeview Hospital.

2012

Make It OK, a program to help end mental illness stigma, launches.

2013

Park Nicollet Health Services and HealthPartners combine. Park Nicollet Health Services includes Methodist Hospital, Struthers Parkinson's Center, Melrose Center and TRIA Orthopaedic Center.

2014

Amery Hospital & Clinic joins HealthPartners.

2015

UnityPoint Health and HealthPartners announce an affiliation agreement.

2017

The HealthPartners Neuroscience Center opens in St. Paul, Minn. HealthPartners named a Top 15 Health System in the U.S. by Truven Health Analytics.

2018

Hutchinson Health joins HealthPartners.